The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began on May 27, will come to an end at sundown on Sunday, June 25. During this time, operations in Kazakhstan may come to a virtual standstill as Muslims gather to pray and celebrate with family and friends. While practices vary by area, Eid al-Fitr celebrations are likely to have an impact on many businesses, stock exchanges, and services (including administrative services) that will close or significantly reduce their hours of operation on Sunday evening and potentially into Monday. As this period is typically marked by increased travel, heavy road traffic after sundown along with other transportation disruptions (crowded airports, etc.) is to be anticipated.
Eid al-Fitr celebrates the conclusion of 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting and remains one of the most important dates on the Muslim calendar. Generally speaking, the month of Ramadan is historically marred by a significant increase in terrorist threats and as such there is a potential for attacks to be carried out during Eid celebrations.
Nearly 70 percent of the Kazakh population is Muslim, 10 percent of which support some form of sharia law, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scripture, as the official law of the land in their country.
Individuals in Kazakhstan are advised to allow for additional travel time, avoid large public gatherings, and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. Always be on guard when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted in an attack (public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.).