Melon Day – Turkmenistan

2nd Sunday in August

All right you cucurbitaceans, you’ve waited all year for this!

Today, the second Sunday of August, the country of Turkmenistan celebrates, not independence, not victory or freedom or liberty, but the glorious, almighty melon.

Yes, melons.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Melon Day? Shouldn’t we honor the melon, the noblest of fruits, every day?”

Yes we should. But in Turkmenistan they have taken melon worship to a new level, dedicating one of the country’s 19 national holidays to the fruit.

All Turkmens celebrate this holiday. The Turkmen melon is the source of our pride, its taste has no equal in the world, the smell makes your head spin,” proclaimed Turkmenistan’s former leader, the late President Niyazov, who created the holiday in 1994.

Turkmenistan grows over 200 types of melon, ranging in size from a potato-sized melon to 18kg monsters. The national melon is the muskmelon.

So celebrate Melon Day by partaking in one of your favorite muskmelon recipes and don’t miss this clip of the Melon Day festivities!

Melon Days are here again!

Whether the knife falls on the mellon or the melon on the knife, the melon suffers.

African proverb

Many wagon-loads of enormous water-melons were brought to market every day, and I was sure to see groups of men, women, and children seated on the pavement round the spot where they were sold, sucking in prodigious quantites of this water fruit. Their manner of devouring them is extremely unpleasant; the huge fruit is cut into half a dozen sections, of about a foot long, and then, dripping as it is with water, applied to the mouth, from either side of which pour copious streams of the fluid, while, ever and anon, a mouthful of the hard black seeds are shot out in all directions, to the great annoyance of all within reach. When I first tasted this fruit I thought it very vile stuff indeed, but before the end of the season we all learned to like it.

Frances Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, 1832

This entry was posted in August holidays, Food, Turkmenistan and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Melon Day – Turkmenistan

  1. Pingback: Fear and laugh in Mongolia » El día del melón: festividad nacional

  2. gailn says:

    In the book “Ghost Train to the Eastern Star” the author has much to say about the craziness and hubris of former leader of Turkmenistan, Niyazov. So it doesn’t surprise me AT ALL that he would declare a holiday for the melon.

  3. Nestor says:

    Yeah, the guy started renaming the months after himself and his family members. I believe the country’s Flag Day is his birthday–a tradition he instituted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>