New Year’s Eve takes a back seat to Solidarity Day of Azerbaijanis every 31 December in Azerbaijan and among the Azerbaijani diaspora in some 70 countries worldwide.
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Solidarity Day of Azerbaijanis is a national public holiday in Azerbaijan, and the 50 million or so people of Azerbaijani ethnicity all over the globe also mark this date on their calendar as of utmost importance.
After the Berlin Wall crumbled, the days of the USSR seemed numbered. In Azerbaijan, the fall of that symbol of division prompted the border between Soviet and Iranian Azerbaijan to be made “open” on 31 December in 1989. This act has ever since become a symbol of the unity of the Azerbaijani people.
On Solidarity Day of Azerbaijanis, government leaders in Azerbaijan give speeches encouraging unity, or “solidarity”, among all of Azerbaijan’s diverse population.