EXPERIENCE WEDDINGS AND CELEBRATIONS IN UZBEKISTAN

12 Days

This special trip allows you to experience at first hand many of the customs and traditions of Uzbek family festivals resp. weddings. Family celebrations which play an important cultural role in Uzbekistan are „Beshik Tuy “, when the baby is put into the cot for the first time, „Sunnat Toy “(circumcision), „Muchal Toy “(reaching legal adulthood) and „Nikoh Toy “(wedding). The most popular festival of the Uzbeks is the wedding. From Spring until late Autumn (except during Ramadan), you can hear wedding trumpets in Uzbekistan as often as you hear church bells in Europe. You will participate in one or the other of these happy events – strange and different, but certainly impressive experiences are guaranteed.

Trip info

  • 3-4* and Boutique Hotels
  • Tashkent
  • Tashkent
  • Guided
  • Half-board according to travel programme (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • Easy
  • Aeroplane, fast train, coach

Experience weddings and celebrations in Uzbekistan

This special trip allows you to experience at first hand many of the customs and traditions of Uzbek family festivals resp. weddings. Family celebrations which play an important cultural role in Uzbekistan are „Beshik Tuy “, when the baby is put into the cot for the first time, „Sunnat Toy “(circumcision), „Muchal Toy “(reaching legal adulthood) and „Nikoh Toy “(wedding). The most popular festival of the Uzbeks is the wedding. From Spring until late Autumn (except during Ramadan), you can hear wedding trumpets in Uzbekistan as often as you hear church bells in Europe. You will participate in one or the other of these happy events – strange and different, but certainly impressive experiences are guaranteed.

 

Itinerary

Flight to Tashkent. Arrival in the evening or early morning of the next day (depending on flight connection). Your travel guide will meet you at the airport and accompany you to your hotel. One overnight stay in Tashkent.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: City Palace Hotel in Tashkent

Arrival in Tashkent with a different airline is at midnight or early morning. You will be met by your tour guide and taken to the hotel. After breakfast, you will tour the capital of Uzbekistan. First you visit Khast Imam Square with the wonderful Barak Khan Medrasa, whose turquoise domes are in contrast to the sand-coloured facade. Next to the medrasa is a library in which a Koran of Othman, the third Caliph, the oldest Koran in the world, is kept. Then you visit the Kukeldash Medrasa, which was built in 1569 and is one of the largest and best-preserved medrasas of the 16th century in the whole of Central Asia. Walking through the bazaar you will discover many Uzbek specialities. All sorts of exotic, spicy smells will tickle your nose. In the Museum of Applied Arts which is housed in a fine, historic mansion house, over 7000 exhibits of traditional folklore from past times and different culture await you. You take the evening flight to Urgench, then by coach to Khiva, 35 km away. Dinner in a local restaurant. Three overnight stays in Khiva.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Musa Tura Hotel in Khiva

Day 3 :
Khiva

A highlight of your trip! The clay roads and two-wheeled donkey carts which are still part of the street scene today, will illustrate the unchanged way of life since the Middle Ages. On your tour through the historic centre, you can admire the oriental ornaments and turquoise tiles of the richly decorated buildings, and will realise why the old town of Khiva, “Ichan Kala” is called “Open Air Museum”. You will not only like the great architecture of the town, but also experience at first hand the traditions of a typical wedding Khiva – in the Khorezm Region of Uzbekistan.
As for many other nations, for Uzbeks their wedding is an important event, the most important in the life of a person, with hundreds of relatives, friends, acquaintances invited, to celebrate with you. Such events have of course to be planned long in advance – almost before the birth of the children. Wedding dinner in a wedding palace with the traditional meal, Uzbek customs and moral ideas, along with the open friendliness of the locals, you will soon feel part of the family.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Musa Tura Hotel in Khiva

Day 4 :
Khiva

After breakfast, you will go on a sightseeing Tour. You will see the Kunya Ark Citadel on the west wall of the old town with buildings from the 17th to the 19th century. It was the official residence of Khans of Khiva. The Djuma Mosque, built in the 10th century, was restored at the end of the 18th century. The wooden beam ceiling in the hall is supported by 213 columns, some of them 1000 years old and with artistic carvings. Then we go to the Pakhlavon Makhmud Mausoleum and the Islam Khodja Minaret – each building is more beautiful than the last. The crowning finale is the Tash Khauli Palace. You have to see for yourself this masterpiece of Oriental architecture! Wander through the narrow old town streets with clay houses, you will find more and more things to take photos of and places to stop and look at in this magical town. In the evening you can enjoy the sunset over the oasis. Sumptuous dinner in Toza Bog's summer palace (at least 8 people) with a Khorezm Folklore Show.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Musa Tura Hotel in Khiva

Impressive trip through the vegetated „Kyzylkum“ («Red Sand») desert and the vast steppes to Bukhara (420 km). On the way, we can stop for lunch in an Uzbek «Rest House» Tea-Room. We reach Bukhara in the late evening and you have time to explore the old town by yourself. Dinner in a local restaurant. Three overnight stays in Bukhara.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Komil Boutique Hotel in Bukhara

Day 6 :
Bukhara

Today you will visit the 2500 year-old old town of Bukhara. You see the Citadel Ark, the Bolo Khauz Mosque, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum and the oldest building in Bukhara - the Samanids‘ Mausoleum. In the afternoon, you see the architectural complex Poi-Kalyan with the minaret and the mosque Kalyan and the Miri-Arab Medrasa. You will visit the domed market halls and trading alleys of the Toki Zargaron-goldsmiths, the Toki Telpak Furushon - hatmakers, the architectural complex of the Kosh Medrasa with the Ulugbek and Abdulaziz Khan medrasas. Then you can relax with a cup of tea by the Lyabi Khauz fountain with the medrasas Nadir Divanbegi and Kukeldash and the hostel for the dervishes Khanako Nadir Divanbegi. You will hear Oriental stories and legends in front of the monument of Nasreddins on the donkey. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Komil Boutique Hotel in Bukhara

Day 7 :
Bukhara

Today we continue to explore the oasis town of Bukhara. You will see the Chor Minor Mosque, built in 1807 by the rich Turkmen Kalif Niyazkul. In the midst of a traditional residential area, the four sky-blue minarets soar up, and this complex has become an emblem of Bukhara thanks to this unusual style. In the house of the merchant Khodzhaev, you will see how wealthy merchants and traders lived in Bukhara 100 years ago. The complex consisting of several buildings is today a museum, and your travel guide will show you the interesting rooms. Then, by the walls of Bukhara, you will see the wonderful summer "Sitorai Mokhi Khosa" (Palace of the Moon and Sky) of the last reigning Emir of Bukhara, Said Alim-Khan. The palace is a mixture of Russian, Oriental and European architecture and has an impressive park. On your free afternoon, you can stroll through the bazaar or relax in a hammam (optional), or enjoy a refreshing drink by the Labi-Havuz.
In the evening before dinner you will attend a show by the Uzbek National Puppet Theatre at the Lyabi Khauz. Enjoy a Uzbek wedding presented in a show in English. It is presented with live music and song so realistically that you will be deeply touched. Dinner in a tea-room at the „Lyabi Khauz“.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Komil Boutique Hotel in Bukhara

After breakfast, we go to Samarkand. On the way we stop in Gijduvan, 45 km north-east of Bukhara. Already in ancient times, Gijduvan was an important trading town and handicrafts centre. The town has a long tradition of ceramics manufacture, going back at least to the time of Ulugbeks (the famous astronomer, grandson of Amir Timur). Local workshops were possibly involved in the production of the majolica tiles for his medrasa in Gijduvan. Gijduvan ceramics are known all over Uzbekistan and popular due to their lavish design of Oriental ornaments and geometric patterns. The town of Gijduvan is well known for its manual production of complex embroidered goods, Suzani. In a family-run embroidery workshop, you can see details of the materials used for Suzani, the different embroidery techniques and the variety of patterns. You will have lunch with the family, prepared by the ladies of the house. Then on to Samarkand. On the way, you will see a gateway from the 12th century, which used to lead to Rabati Malik „Royal rabat“ („Rabat“ – castles, forts) and which was built on an old caravansary route between Samarkand and Bukhara. The giant reservoir Sardoba Malik served as a source of water for Rabat. It was under the earth, locked with a tiered dome and filled with water from Zerafshan through an underground channel (Karis). We reach Samarkand towards evening. Dinner in a local restaurant. Three overnight stays in Samarkand.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Ideal Hotel in Samarkand

Day 9 :
Samarkand

The probably most famous town along the Silk Road – Samarkand! Here the fairytale from One Thousand and One Nights begins again for you. All day today you will visit sights in this 2700 year-old town (UNESCO-World Heritage). In the “Afrosiyob” museum, you will get new impressions of old Samarkand. On a hill you will visit the historic observatory of Ulugbek with the enormous sextant built into the earth. The research laboratory of the famous astronomer was already a modern observatory in the 14th century. Here you can reach for the stars and marvel at the way celestial bodies were determined already in those days. Later you will visit a paper manufacturer where the fine, traditional Samarkand paper is produced from mulberry tree fibres. This craft has been practised here for many centuries longer than we have known it. Samarkand used tob e famous all along the Silk Road for its exclusive paper. In the afternoon you will visit the Shakhi Zinda Complex, a wonderful collection of different mausoleums coated in Timur style with majolica and mosaic tiles. After the visit, you will go through a colourful bazaar. Here the museum-like gives way to Oriental reality. Pyramids of nuts, almonds, pistachios, dried apricots, raisins as well as all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables are piled up on the market stands. Hatmakers and cobblers call out and offer their services. A market which is as colourful and fascinating as life itself. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Ideal Hotel in Samarkand

Day 10 :
Samarkand

Today you can experience another family festival of the Uzbeks – the cot festival. This ancient ceremony is still today a firm part of Uzbek culture and is one of the most popular celebrations in Uzbekistan. All the family members, neighbours and friends help with the preparations. Traditionally, the older women swathe the baby and put it into the cot (beshik) for the first time whilst the other guests celebrate and toast the baby's wellbeing. The ceremony ends with the guests bringing the child their presents.
In the afternoon we continue the sightseeing tour: you will admire the palace-like mausoleum of the ruler Amir Timur, the Gur-Emir-Mausoleum. Today you will have the highlight of your trip Registan Square with three impressive, enormous, artistically decorated medrasas. Tashkent Street, where most of the souvenir shops are to be found, leads you to what was once the greatest mosque of Central Asia – the Bibi Khanum Mosque.
In the evening you visit a Uzbek family. There you learn to prepare one of the national dishes – Manty – before eating it.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Ideal Hotel in Samarkand

Do you want to experience a typical wedding the Samarkand way? Start the day with a morning Pilaw (if you wish) at 07:00h already. Then let's go! Make the most of the last day of your trip. Morning Pilaw is one of the oldest and most typical traditions of the Uzbeks. The vast amount of Pilaw is prepared for hundreds and hundreds of guests for the birth of a child, for men returning from military service, for the morning of a wedding, when someone reaches the age of a prophet (63 years), for a funeral and for many other special events.
You only get to see the whole splendour of a morning Pilaw at a wedding. Perhaps it is the atmosphere created by the hundreds of people which makes the Pilaw so special.
Then we go to a family and take part in a wedding or a family celebration in Samarkand. Here you will learn many traditions and wedding rituals. Uzbek weddings vary from one area of Uzbekistan to another. In Samarkand, for instance, the women wear splendid, glittering clothes…
You will leave Samarkand with many impressions and take the fast train “Afrosiyob” at 1800h to Tashkent (300 km). Arrival at 20.08h. Dinner in a local restaurant. Transfer to the hotel. One overnight stay in Tashkent.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: City Palace Hotel in Tashkent

After an early breakfast, drive to Tashkent Airport for your flight home.

COST

Includes

  • * Round trip/excursions and transfers in air-conditioned vehicles typical for the country.
  • * 1 train trip Samarkand-Tashkent with the fast train „Afrosiyob“.
  • * 11 x overnight stays in middle-class hotels (country category) in double room.
  • * Sightseeing programme including admission fees according to travel programme.
  • * Folklore Show in Summer Palace „Toza Bog“ in Khiva.
  • * Visit to all marriage rituals and celebrations.
  • * Puppet Theatre in Bukhara.
  • * Half-board according to travel programme (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner).
  • * English-speaking travel guide from DOCA TOURS from/to Tashkent Airport.

Excludes

  • * International flights.
  • * Inland flight Tashkent - Urgentsch.
  • * Photo/video fees.
  • * Tips for travel guide and drivers.
  • * Visa fees.
  • Additional Services:
  • * Supplement for single room 250- EUR.
  • * Inland flight Tashkent-Urgench in Economy-Class ¬¬ 60 EUR per Person.

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EXPERIENCE WEDDINGS AND CELEBRATIONS IN UZBEKISTAN
From $1,570
/ Adult
From $1,570
/ Child

Trip info

  • 3-4* and Boutique Hotels
  • Tashkent
  • Tashkent
  • Guided
  • Half-board according to travel programme (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • Easy
  • Aeroplane, fast train, coach