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Melon Day

Melon Day is an annual national holiday in Turkmenistan devoted to festivities to celebrate the country's muskmelon, in particular a recent crossbreed product named "Turkmenbashi Melon", which is praised for its delicious aroma, excellent taste and large size.

This holiday was established by Turkmenistan’s previous president Saparmurat Niyazov in 1994, who preferred to be known as Turkmenbashi, or leader of the Turkmens. It is marked annually on the second Sunday of August. The day's celebrations feature a large display of the fruit in all its varieties, as well as a series of dance and music events, in the country's capital Ashgabat. In his address to farmers in 2004, President Saparmurat Niyazov said: "Almighty God has turned Turkmen soil into a fertile source of an abundance of the tastiest fruits. Among them are Turkmen melons, which are the result of farmers' hard work and which have a unique taste reminiscent of a paradise fruit." "The Turkmen melon is the source of our pride," said Niyazov in a statement published in Turkmen newspapers. "Its taste has no equals in the world, the smell makes your head spin."

Melon Day is among 19 public holidays of Turkmenistan – classic titles of which are Drop of Water is a Grain of Gold Holiday, Holiday of Poetry of Magtymguli, Turkmenbashi Holiday, Good Neighbourliness Day, Horse Day, Sun Day, Jewel Day, and Carpet Day.

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