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Наурыз 2014      


New Year for many nations, especially 

farming nations, is a unique link between 

the past and the present, between the end 

of one and the start of preparations for 

the next agricultural cycle. This is true for 

China, a nation that is rightly considered 

as one of the most ancient non-migratory 

peoples in the world, whose civilisation 

is based on working the land that has 

managed to feed a unique culture of rich 

traditions. And one of the greatest Chinese 

celebrations is New Year.

New Year in China has long been 

celebrated according to the lunar calendar 

and falls on the first day of the second new 

moon after the winter solstice, i.e. it varies 

and falls on one of the days between 21 

January and 21 February of the Gregorian 

calendar. In 2014, the Chinese New Year 

fell on 31 January. Celebrations last two 

weeks and end with the Feast of Lanterns 

on the 15


 day after the start of the New 


After the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, China 

moved to the Gregorian calendar, and the 

calendar year, like in the vast majority of 

countries, starts on 1 January. However, 

traditionally, New Year is celebrated, as I 

mentioned above, according to the lunar 

calendar, and this celebration has been 

called the Spring Celebration - Chun Jie - 

since 1911. Each year is given a symbolic 

animal from the Chinese zodiac in a 

12-year cycle. This year’s symbol is the 

horse, and its colour - turquoise and green.

Chun Jie is the favourite, most 

popular, longest, fun, noisy and colourful 

celebration in China. Although it is a state 

holiday and is given the appropriate status, 

it is actually a family celebration. It is a 

time when the whole family gets together 

and is also vacation time.

Chun Jie, like no other celebration, 

differs from other celebrations in form 

and content, and still bears the impression 

of the ancient traditions and customs that 

created it, which, although they have lost 

their former meaning, still make the event 


Every Chinese family prepares for New 

Year well in advance by buying food, 

decorations and gifts for the festive table. 

The house is cleaned and then the brooms 

are cleared well away as people believe 

that you do not only have to do away with 

the remnants of the old year, especially 

the negative ones, but also prepare to 

meet warmth, wealth and happiness in 

the new year, which, according to Chinese 

superstition, can deposit themselves in 

your house in the form of dust. Therefore, 

you have to make sure that you do not 

move it accidentally. Maybe, in the past, 

people really did believe in that, but today 

cleaning the house before a celebration 

is pretty standard for all nations and 

reflects efforts to separate celebrations 

from a normal day. It actually would be 

hard to imagine being in the mood for a 

celebration in a messy house.

One thing that has not lost its ancient 

meaning is the night before New Year

which the Chinese call “the meeting after 


It is the most important part of the 

whole event. Each family member, 

wherever he or she is, tries to get home for 

New Year, to celebrate with relatives and 

feel the warmth of the family fireplace, pay 

their respects to elders and parents, and 

express their love for brothers, sisters and 


The whole family sits round the festive 

New Year table, laden with a variety of 

dishes. Deceased parents have a place 

around the New Year table. As with 

other eastern nations, the Chinese place 

great importance on their parents, and 

this tradition has not lost its value, even 

cHinese new yeAr


Наурыз 2014


to this day. I truly believe that the New 

Year celebrations really do stimulate the 

Chinese to create culinary masterpieces. 

It is no accident that Chinese cuisine is 

famous across the world for its variety, 

taste and the way it is served.

The New Year table should have 

dumplings (jiaozi), as well as rice cakes 

(niangao), which resemble traditional 

gold and silver ingots that used to circulate 

in old China, and symbolise wealth and 

prosperity. The whole family, including 

children, take part in making the New Year 

dumplings, and is viewed as something 

sacred, full of laughter and joking. Often, 

the dumplings have small notes in them 

with New Year wishes. Picking dumplings 

with notes in them is considered good luck 

and a sign that the year will be lucky. My 

wife and I were lucky enough to take part 

in this at the Chinese embassy in Moscow, 

where everyone involved, including the 

Ambassador, helped make the dumplings 

and enjoyed the small surprises hidden in 


It goes without saying that the Chinese 

meet New Year in their best clothes. The 

dominant colour in the children’s clothes 

is red, not only because it is associated with 

the holiday and is a beautiful colour, but 

because it is a tradition. There is a legend 

that in ancient times, the bad spirit Nian 

(spelt in Chinese the same way as the year) 

visited villages once a year and ate the cattle 

and killed the people. Evil Nian was driven 

out by an old beggar who painted his gates 

red and burned bamboo branches in his 

oven, which made a loud bang when they 

started to burn.

To this day, the Chinese paint the entrance 

to their houses red and hang out red paper 

ribbons depicting pairs of characters 

wishing happiness and well-being, and 

make colourful fireworks. Of course, in 

our days they do not serve for getting rid 

of bad sprites or Nian, but became more 

as a traditional New Year attribute, giving 

it special beauty and uniqueness. Chinese 

fireworks are a work of art that you can look 

at for hours.

The giving of gifts at New Year is not 

obligatory. An exception is the so-called 

yasui tsyan, or pocket money in special 

red envelopes with New Year wishes that 

are given to children. Any child entering a 

home celebrating New Year should never 

leave it empty-handed. Therefore, each 

Chinese family makes sure it has enough red 

envelopes with money to give out. Another 

type of traditional New Year gift is a pair of 

mandarin oranges that you are supposed 

to pick up as you are going to someone’s 

house. In response, you will also get a pair 

of mandarin oranges. In Chinese, the words 

“a pair of mandarins” sound similar to the 

word “gold”, which explains the symbolism 

behind the gift.

The Spring Celebration is not only a 

family holiday, but also a public holiday. 

It is two weeks of days off, when only the 

entertainment, restaurant and market 

industries work. The streets of China’s cities 

and villages are covered out in decorations, 

while adults and children dress up in 

costumes. The many squares play host to 

mass performances involving colourful 

dragon and lion dances, stilt walkers, 

acrobats and circus performers. The people 

are friendly, have smiles on their faces and 

show great kindness. In one word - it is a 


New Year finishes with the Feast of 

Lanterns. All homes and streets, city and 

village squares are decorated with lanterns 

of all shapes and colours. It is something 

you cannot put into words; you need to see 

it and if you do you will have an experience 

that will stay with you for the rest of your 


I will be glad if after reading this small 

note on the Spring Celebration, one of you 

gets the desire to visit China over New Year 

and see this most wonderful of celebrations 

with your own eyes. As they say, it is better to 

see it once than hear about it hundred times.

Chun Jie hao, my dear Chinese friends! 

Happy New Year to the multinational 

PetroKazakhstan team!


Ambassador at large, head of 

the government delegation for the 

delimitation and demarcation of the 

state border in the diplomatic rank 

of Ambassador Extraordinary and 


Жаңа жылдық дастарқанның міндетті 

тағамы - нянь-гао күріш пірәндігі / Обязательный 

атрибут новогоднего стола - рисовые пряники нянь-гао 

/ Rice cakes niangao are the New Year’s mandatory attribute

Vyacheslav Gizzatov has vast 

experience of diplomatic work in 

different countries of the world

including China. His input into the 

development of foreign policy has 

been recognized by many government 

awards. V.Gizzatov has been granted 

the highest diplomatic rank of 

Extraodinary and Plenipotentiary 

Ambassador by the RK President’s 

decree. Today, Mr. Gizzatov is the 

leading expert in the sphere of 

demarcation and delimitation of state 



Наурыз 2014      


Nauryz is the great celebration of the 

Eastern peoples. It is the spring equinox, the 

day when Mother Nature wakes up and starts 

its rejuvenation. It is the day when young 

and old come together, people rid their 

souls of bad thoughts, celebrate together and 

collectively with the new day, open up a path 

towards all that is good, pass on cheerful 

wishes, sincere feelings and words of 

encouragement. Grievances are forgiven and 

hope is given for a bright future. Elders pass 

on their wisdom to the youngsters, while the 

youngsters pay homage. It is the day when 

nature begins to bloom, and people put on 

their best clothes, prepare Nauryz-Kozhe, 

a dish of seven, nine or eleven different 


In Soviet times, the tradition was a 

restricted one. Not everybody recognised 

Nauryz, calling it a religious celebration. They 

tried to wipe it from our memories. However, 

Nauryz has returned and has become a great 

day, uniting all the different nations in our 


People began to celebrate Nauryz again 

at the start of the 1980’s. The people woke 

up, got their sacred large cooking pot and 

began preparing Nauryz-Kozhe again. There 

are some basic rules for celebrating Nauryz, 

and first of all, it is about maintaining purity, 

caring about nature and getting rid of the 

old. Secondly, it is the day when every family 

prepares Nauryz-Kozhe and invites relatives 

and neighbours round for a festive treat. 

Thirdly, people should help their friends and 

relatives and support those who need their 

help. Fourthly, it became a tradition that 

every Kazakh and Kazakhstan national, old 

and young, should plant five plants. Fifthly, 

at Nauryz, the people should rid themselves 

of impure thoughts, bad food and habits. 

Sixthly, those in positions of power and the 

common man, the rich man and poor man, 

irrespective of class and rank, should all be 

equal. Seventhly, Nauryz is the day when 

traditions and customs are revived and 

explained to the younger generation. The 

traditions their parents followed should be 

engrained in each individual.

If we had honoured and respected this 

most wonderful of days that brings the 

whole East together, aiming at uniting 

all the people in the country, I am sure, 

we would experience less anger, more 

understanding and reduce the causes of 

ignorance. We celebrate Nauryz for only a 

couple of months, and then forget about it. 

I believe that if we apply the rules by which 

we celebrate Nauryz in our everyday lives, 

then undoubtedly our national identity will 

be reinvigorated. As an example, I would like 

quote a few lines from the great Kazakh poet 

Mukagali Makatayev:

when the month of Nauryz comes along

That is when the celebration starts …

when Nauryz arrives,

we celebrate it jubilantly

Anyone that knows Nauryz wants to 

celebrate it again and again, and those who 

do not, are eager  to see it 

and I would like to congratulate everyone 

working for PetroKazakhstan with this 

most wonderful of celebrations, hope that 

everyone fulfils what they want to do on this 

equinox, and, and let the sky-blue flag of the 

Kazakhstan people, the eternal people, as 

our President said, flutter in the sky so that 

future generations can see the fruits and 

victories of our independence!

Yertagyn Astayev, 

Deputy of the Senate of the parliament 

of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Finance 

and Budget Committee Secretary

Наурыз көжеге салынатын тағамдар / Ингредиенты для наурыз-коже / Nauryz-kozhe ingredients

tHe greAt nAtionAl celeBrAtion Bringing 

people togetHer

Economist and lawyer, Yertagyn 

Astayev had worked in the position of 

Akim of Taraz city, Dzhambyl district 

of Dzhambyl oblast. Currently he is the 

Deputy of the Senate of the Parliament 

of the Republic of Kazakhstan and 

Finance and Budget Committee 

Secretary. Mr.Astayev has been awarded 

with the following medals: 10 years 

to the Independence of the Republic 

of Kazakhstan (2001), 10 years to 

the Constitution of the Republic of 

Kazakhstan (2005) and Yeren enbegi 

ushin (2007).


Наурыз 2014



January 16 - KZT 18 million was allocated 

to the South Kazakhstan Oblast Boxing 

Federation to sponsor improvements in its 

organisational and material base.

January 17 - with sponsorship from 

PKKR, Kyzylorda saw the opening of a club 

for people with disabilities to help them 

with leisure activities, social rehabilitation 

and motivate them to lead a full life.

January 25-26 - Kyzylorda hosted a 

mini-football tournament dedicated to 

the memory of footballer Abil Kalymbetov. 

PKKR won this 12-team event.

January 30 - as part of PKOP’s 

implementation of its modernisation 

project, Almaty saw PetroKazakhstan Oil 

Products LLP and the Chinese Company 

СРЕСС sign an ЕРС - contract for the 

Construction of a Naphta Isomerisation 

Facility Project at the Shymkent Refinery.

January 31 - company management 

participated in the 16



Council session in Astana.


February 8-9 – Kumkol hosted billiard 

competition where 24 PKKR and contractor 

employees took part. First place was taken 

by Leading Construction Engineer Alish 

Bazarbayev, second - by Senior Workover 

Foreman Nurlan Suyunov and third - by 

Main pump station Operator Kanat Akhet.

February 12 - company management 

took part in a meeting of the Oil and Gas 

Industry Engineers’ Association (SPE). 

According to results of the meeting, 

company President Mr. Wei was included 

in an executive committee to organise 

and hold the 1


 Caspian Region Annual 

Technical Exhibition and Conference, to 

take place on 12-14 November in Astana.

February 13 - a meeting with 

participation of JSC KazMunaiGas - Refining 

and Marketing Deputy General Director 

for Production R.S.Bekturov and JSC 

KazMunaiGas-PM Head of the Apparatus 

A.N.Akishev, with PKOP staff was held to 

explain the main points of the Presidential 

Address to the People of Kazakhstan 

“Kazakhstan’s Path - 2050: a Common Goal, 

Common Interests and a Common Future”.

February 15-19 - PKKR sponsored 

Kyzylorda Oblast football veterans in the XVI 

Kazakhstan Futsal Championship in Almaty.

February 17-19 - billiard completion 

was held at Kumkol field with participation 

of 24 PKKR and contractor employees. 

The results are the following: 1


 place was 

taken by Interteach employee Yergali 

Tumanov, 2


 - by Abzal and Co employee 

Kanat Sarkeyev, and 3


place was taken 

by 3


 grade oil & gas production operator 

Bakhytzhan Mirmanov.

February 18 - the traditional celebration 

of the military withdrawal from Afghanistan 

was held by PKOP veterans-internationalists 

and their guests, representatives of the 

Afghan Veterans’ Society and Great Patriotic 

War veterans.

February 28 - a meeting of the board of 

trustees of the DOM public fund was held 

in Almaty, of which PetroKazakhstan Vice 

President B.I.Issengaliyev is the Chairman.


March 2 - a winter fishing competition 

was held for PKKR divisions, with the 

winners receiving certificates and valuable 


March 4-5 - the Kumkol and KAM fields 

held table tennis competitions for staff.

March 5 - a Conference “Best practice 

in the sphere of Industrial Safety, Labor 

Protection, Health and Emergencies” 

organized by PetroKazakhstan within 

the framework of Working Group of the 

Coordination Council of KAZENERGY 

Association took place in Almaty (for 

more details please read the next issue of 


March 6 - on the eve of 8 March, at the 

Kumkol and KAM fields, a gala concert was 

held for staff.

March 7 - the annual awards ceremony 

for the best PKKR contractor in terms of HSE 

was held.

March 11-12 - the Kumkol and KAM 

fields held a chess competition for staff.

March 14 - Almaty host the annual 

PetroKazakhstan President’s Award 

Ceremony, at which the company’s best 

employees receive awards in recognition of 

their professionalism and dedication to duty.

March 20-21 - in honour of Nauryz, the 

Kumkol and KAM fields are to hold a gala 

concert for the staff.

March 22 - PKKR is to take part in 

a city-wide Nauryz celebration on the 

central square. In yurtas decorated in the 

national style, the company is to organize a 

celebratory charity lunch with traditional 

dishes for 500 inhabitants of the oblast 

centre. Refinery employees in Shymkent are 

also to celebrate Nauryz.

March 30-31 - the PetroKazakhstan 

sports complex is to hold a mini-football 

competition for PKKR divisions dedicated to 


cAlendAr of events

«ПҚОП» ЖШС және СРЕСС қытай компаниясының арасында «Нафтаны изомерлеу қондырғыларын салу» жобасы 

бойынша ЕРС-келісімшартына қол қою / Подписание контракта EPC по проекту «Строительство установки 

изомеризации нафты» между ТОО «ПКОП» и компанией СРЕСС / PKOP and СРЕСС sign an ЕРС - contract for the 

Construction of a Naphta Isomerisation Facility Project


Наурыз 2014      


It all started when my friends studying in 

England invited me and a friend to celebrate 

New Year with them in Great Britain. I was 

glad to accept the invitation and started to 

collect all the documents I needed for a visa, 

which took me about 3 days. The embassy 

reviewed them for about 3 weeks. And then, 

at the start of December, I was the proud 

holder of a visa and a youth ticket on Air 


On 21 December, my friend and I landed 

at Heathrow airport, where my friends 

met us and took us immediately for an 

evening stroll around London. We walked 

past Buckingham Palace, by which time 

there were luckily only a few tourists about, 

which meant we were able to see everything 

without haste. Then we passed Big Ben and 

the London Eye.

The next morning we travelled to the 

south of the country, to the famous White 

Cliffs of Dover, which at over 100 metres 

high are very impressive thanks to their 

chalk and flint structure. Even though these 

types of cliffs are not that rare in Britain, the 

Dover cliffs are the most famous. By the way, 

it is thanks to the White Cliffs that England 

was given the name “Albion” (from the word 

albus, meaning white). Our journey took us 

through Brighton on the English Channel 

coast. The English Channel, the strait that 

separates Britain from continental Europe, 

is of course amazing… Clean water, multi-

coloured pebbles and the fresh sea breeze 

that reminds you of sweet flowers. After 

admiring the cliffs, we went to a place called 

Beachy Head, which at 162 m is the highest 

of the chalk hills on the southern English 

coast. Sadly, it is famous for being one of the 

most popular places for committing suicide. 

However, the view from the top out into the 

channel is truly amazing.

The next morning we were off on another 

journey - this time to see the ancient stones at 

Stonehenge, close to the city of Salisbury, 130 

km to the south-west of London. I must admit 

that I was not that impressed by the stones 

themselves as we have far more beautiful 

and amazing places to see in Kazakhstan. 

However, the level of service there was very 

pleasing. We arrived in a comfortable coach 

and were met by a guide. After being given a 

player explaining the history of the stones, 

we were taken to the museum. After the 

museum visit we went to look at the stones 

themselves, which you can only do in one of 

two ways: on a coach or in trailers hooked 

onto an off-road vehicle. Unfortunately, we 

were unable to really enjoy the landscape, 

as by evening the rain had turned into a 

storm. We got really wet, which made it clear 

why British people always seem to have an 

umbrella with them. Though when we left 

home the sky was clear and it was sunny.

Actually, just before Christmas the terrible 

weather forced a lot of people to change 

their travel plans - many trains were delayed 

and people just decided not to leave home.

Christmas is probably the favourite and 

most family-oriented celebrations not only 

in Britain, but also in Western Europe, and 

remarkably, apart from the emergency 

services, nothing works and everything 

stops on Christmas Day. The underground, 

shops and even cafes and restaurants are all 

closed. I found the contrast in the quietness 

of Christmas Day compared to the hustle 

and bustle on the streets in a city that never 

normally sleeps only the evening before 

quite amazing.

As public transport was not working and 

we did not want to sit at home, we decided to 

walk to the McLaren factory. Woking (a small 

town around 37 km from London, and where 

my friends were living) is the headquarters of 

the McLaren Group, one of whose divisions 

makes Formula 1 race cars for Vodafone 

McLaren Mercedes, and also the McLaren 

MP4-12C and McLaren P1 super cars. From 

the outside, you would never know that this 

was where they made super cars; the only 

clue being the McLaren banner.

In the morning we set off for Manchester. 

Having before that mainly travelled by 

train, we decided to travel to Manchester 

by coach. I was not particularly impressed 

by Manchester and I have no real desire to 

return, but the city’s football stadiums are 

magnificent. I was especially impressed by 

Old Trafford, otherwise known as the Theatre 

of Dreams. Just the size of it takes your breath 

away. It can hold about 80,000 spectators 

and is the second largest in the country, after 

Wembley stadium in London. In addition, 

Old Trafford holds UEFA’s elite 5-star rating 

and since 1910 has been the home of one of 

Britain’s most successful clubs - Manchester 

United. Not being a fan of any particular 

club before this, I can understand how easy 

it would be to fall in love with the legendary 

club. Even though there was nobody training 

on the pitch, there seemed to be quite a lot of 

tourists around.

After Manchester we visited Liverpool, a 

port town that gave the world the Beatles. 

Compared to Manchester, the architecture 

in Liverpool is much more impressive with 

its magnificent guild hall, cathedrals built 

in the neo-gothic and modernist style. 

By the way, the Liverpool port collection 

of administrative buildings has been 

recognised by UNESCO as a monument of 

world heritage. Liverpool is also home to 

a number of different types of museums 

and exhibitions, for example the Maritime 

Museum, the Beatles Museum, the World 

History Museum and even the Museum of 

Slavery, some of which we managed to visit. 

At one museum we managed to visit an 

exhibition of the English pop-art artist David 

Hockney, one of the most influential artists of 

the 20


 century. Interestingly, visitors could 

write down their impressions of the pictures 

on show on small stickers. Somebody 

thought the exhibition was “amazing”, while 

someone else wrote “my 5-year old sister can 

draw better than that”.

We returned to London on 30 December 

and that evening I attended a concert of the 

London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal 

My BritisH new yeAr HolidAy

Стоунхендж ежелгі тастары / Древние камни Стоунхенджа / 

Ancient stones at Stonehenge


Наурыз 2014


Albert Hall. If I am being honest, the Royal 

Albert Hall was first on my list of “places to 

see”. I was still having music lessons at school 

when I heard about the London Symphony 

Orchestra for the first time, and since then 

it has been a dream of mine to see them in 

a concert; and that dream has since come 

true! I can still hear the glorious sound of the 

violins and drums, the melody of the piano 

and picture the conductor’s movements, and 

I think the experience will probably stay with 

me for a long time. The strangest thing about 

the Albert Hall is that it does not have a coat 

check, and the entire audience was forced to 

hold their coats on their lap.

After the concert we decided to check out 

Sherlock Holmes’s house on Baker Street, 

where the TV series were filmed. According 

to the author of the Sherlock Holmes books, 

Arthur Conan Doyle, the detective lives at 

221B Baker Street, which during Holmes’s 

“lifetime” did not actually exist. Later on, 

when Baker Street was being extended at 

the end of the 19


 century, 221B was built 

and today it houses the Sherlock Holmes 


On the last day of the year we left home a 

little earlier as we had tickets to the musical 

Mamma Mia at the Novello Theatre, one of 

the brightest sights in London. Originally 

opened in 1905, today the theatre has been 

fitted with a modern acoustic system that 

creates an amazing sound. The theatre also 

has a number of mirrors that seem to visually 

increase the size of the premises. The show 

itself was not particularly impressive in 

terms of the stage and decoration, but the 

acting was top class along with, of course, 

the timeless ABBA hits that make up the 

musical. Again, there was no coat check. 

Another interesting thing was that some of 

the audience were eating ice cream during 

the performance. I really cannot imagine 

that happening in one of our theatres.

New Year in Britain is a mass party. Just 

like in New York and Times Square, Almaty 

and Republic Square or Moscow and Red 

Square, people like to meet the New Year 

noisily and merrily outside. We decided to 

do the same and after spending a wonderful 

day full of positive emotions and witnessing 

a spectacular firework display, we saw in 

the New Year at the London Eye. Hurrah for 


The first day of the New Year was spent 

buying gifts for friends and relatives, and also 

walking about London. Our flight back home 

was booked for 2 January. So, train, airport, 

check-in, seat, 7-hour flight and I was home 


Askar Aitmagambetov, 

Document Management System 

Technical Support Specialist, pKOSI

«Роял Алберт Холл- дағы» Лондондық симфониялық оркестрдің концерті /  Концерт Лондонского симфонического 

оркестра в «Роял Алберт Холл» / London Symphony Orchestra concert at the Royal Albert Hall

«Манчестер - мен үшін өзіндік бір әлем» /

«Манчестер - целый мир для меня»

Рождество  мерекесінде айтылатын тілектер / Пожелания на Рождество / 

Christmas wishes


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