Kazakhstan has many different customs and traditions. The most important Kazakh holiday of the year is "Nauryz" - the Kazakh New Year. On March 22-nd people from smaller villages come to bigger cities. Families get together to help one another on consructing a "yurt" which is the traditional Kazakh home. Since the Kazakhs were originally nomadic people they had homes that could be easily set up and moved from one place to another. These yurts are made of long curved pieces of wood that are tied together and make the skeleton for this round house. Large pieces of felt are placed over the wood and rugs are placed inside the yourt on the floor to keep warmth and protect from cold and rain. If you enter a yurt on Nauryz you will see that it is decorated with beautiful Kazakh ornaments, rugs and blankets. As a guest you will sit at a long low table and eat such Kazakh dishes as "karta" (round pieces of dried horse meat), "plov", "baursak", "besbarmak" ("five fingers" - a dish which consists of noodles, onions and sheep's meat). This meat is traditionally served with a sheep's head, which is set at the "place of honour" - the head of the table. An elder "aksakal" will usually have the task of cutting the sheep's head and saying words of blessing while giving each part of the head to a different person. At the end of the meal you will have tea and listen to musicians playing dombyras and kobyz and singing songs. Then you may see many ancient Kazakh games. One of the major features of Nauryz is the traditional costumes that men and women wear.