Location: The Republic of Tatarstan is located in the eastern most part of Europe between the Volga and the Kama rivers. It is approximately 68,000 square kilometers in size stretching 290 km from north to south and approximately 460 km from east to west. In the north, Tatarstan borders the Kirovsky region, the Republic of Udmurtia, and the Republic of Mari-El. On the west, Tatarstan is bordered by Chuvashia and to the east is the Republic of Bashkortostan. To the south of the Republican of Tatarsan are the regions of Samara, Orenburg, and Ulyanovsk.
History: The history of the Tatarsan people dates back to the Paleolithic period about 100,000 years ago. Historically, the state called Volga-Kama-Bulgaria emerged at the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century. It was the only developed state in eastern Europe for hundreds of years. In 1236, the Volga-Kama-Bulgaria state was invaded by the Mongol-Tatars. The state then became part of the Turkic state called Zolotaya Orda. Eventually Zolotaya Orda collapsed and many new states arose including the Kazan Khanate, which was the most prominent. It inherited many things from the Volga-Kama-Bulgaria state, such as ethnic, linguistic, religious, cultural and trade-economic traditions.
After numerous wars and struggles, the seizure of Kazan in 1552 finally annexed the Kazan Khanate into the Russian state. After the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was founded in 1920. The Declaration on State Sovereignty of Tatarsan was adopted by the Supreme Council of the Republic on August 30, 1990. It was also confirmed by a referendum in 1992. The Republic of Tatarstan, part of the Russian Federation, is a sovereign state. The Tatars and the Russians significantly influenced each others culture, making both culturally rich. The Tatars adopted agricultural and construction methods and crafts from the Russians, and the Russians adopted some cultural achievements from the Tatars as well.
Culture: Literature is an important element in Tatarstan culture. Turkic writing has been found dating from the 5th – 7th centuries. The Moslem religion came to Volga-Kama-Bulgaria along with the Arabic script in the 10th century. The first books in the Tatar language were published in the 18th century... There are also 170 issues of periodicals and approximately 30 magazines.
In the Republic of Tatarstan there are 16 professional theatres, a conservatory, a state symphonic orchestra, museums and many libraries. Some of the major festivals and holidays are the Festival of Classic Ballet named after the famous dancer Rudolf Nuriev. Another famous holiday is Curban Bairam, based on the lunar calendar. The main businesses give up a whole business week for the festival. Some of the major holidays are the New Years celebration that is celebrated from December 31st to January 2nd, the Orthodox Christmas falls on January 7th, and The Day of Foundation of the Republic of Tatarstan lands on August 30th.