GRODNO, 1 March (BelTA) - The traditional fair Kazyuki of craftsmen from all over Belarus and abroad will open in Grodno on 6 March, BelTA learned from the Grodno city authorities.
“This is the first fair of the season. Artisans are looking forward to it as they have missed their custoemrs. We are waiting for participants not only from Grodno, but also from other regions of Belarus, and also from Ukraine. Almost 140 artisans have already applied for Kazyuki," the city authorities said. The trade show will feature handmade products from clay, leather, wood, metal, and straw. Artists will, too, present their works. It will not be difficult to choose a unique gift, for example, for the Women's Day on 8 March, the organizers are sure. The official opening is scheduled for 12.30, although the trade show will start in the morning and last until the evening.
Traditionally, Kazyuki will run master classes. This time blacksmiths from Grodno will show how horseshoes were made in the old days. By the way, horseshoe or rather the gate in the form of it has become a signature feature of the Kazyuki fair. It is believed that if a talented and successful master is the first to pass through this "luck gate" then all the others who pass through it will have luck on their side all year round.
Another tradition of the fair is a fun ceremony of initiation of young artisans by more experienced colleagues. The ceremony is a kind of a test. Experienced craftsmen, equipped with wooden spoons, meticulously examine the work of the candidates. If an artisan shows a skill set on par with an experienced master, then he gets a spoon tap on his palms. If not, they get a spoon slap on their forehead.
The fair has long been one of the biggest events in the cultural life of the city. It is held annually in memory of Saint Casimir - the patron saint of youth and craftsmen. Saint Casimir was a grandson of Jagiello and son of King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Casimir IV. The young prince of the Jagiellonian family lived a short life, died on 4 March 1484. His remnants were taken from Grodno to Vilnius. In 1604 Casimir was canonized. Today his relics are kept at the Cathedral of Vilnius. Lithuania also hosts Kaziukas (St. Casimir) fair.