Nartūğan/Nūrtūğan – the oldest Turkic holiday on the winter solstice (Hungarians call it “Karachun”). This night is considered the longest. It is interpreted in two semantic variants: “Qara Tün” – black night and “Qara Shyn” – mighty peak, dangerous peak. In the past, fires were lit on this night to warm the ground. This holiday – the day of the winter sun – is known in Slavic mythology. In Karelian folklore Karachun is a mythical figure who kidnaps women, mostly girls named Svetlana (light, warmth, life). All these are remnants of the folk understanding of the seasons in the cycle of nature.
The name of the festival “nartūğan” or “nūrtūğan” is the reference point for the light and dark time of the day. During this time, sunlight displaces the longest night of the year. The Kazakh word “nart” means fiery, scarlet, which symbolically expresses the sacred holiday of the birthday of the sunbeam. This is indicated by the second variant of the name of the holiday: “nūr” – ray.