ALEXANDRIA, 11 July (BelTA) – The two-day Kupala Night Festival began in the agrotown of Alexandria, Shklov District, Mogilev Oblast on 11 July. Visitors will be able to get familiar with various Belarusian traditions, go through the Corridor of Epochs, and see a town of arts and crafts where craftsmen from all parts of the country have gathered. Guests from Russia and Ukraine have come as well, BelTA has learned.
The town of arts and crafts is one of the key venues of the festival in Alexandria. The craftswoman Irina Koval said that the Kupala Night Festival offers an opportunity to get familiar with traditions of various regions. “I've been coming here for several years already. It is a wonderful celebration that combines modern culture and Belarusian traditions. I do straw wickerwork in the Zhabinka District Center for Children's Art. It is a genuine brand of our country. Today I've presented not only my works but works of the little pupils,” she noted.
Representatives of the Orsha House of Crafts made several thematic souvenirs out of wood in anticipation of the Kupala Night Festival. “We've been coming to Alexandria since the day the festival was founded. Every year the celebration brings something new: new craftsmen, new thematic venues. Here we get charged with positive emotions, which are later reflected in our art,” the House of Crafts Director Vladimir Sokolov said.
The craftswoman Tatiana Naumova from Khotimsk noted: “Alexandria gathers friends indeed. The atmosphere here is unbelievable: you can take a peek at the history of Belarusian traditions, learn how some branch of art developed. A contest of national costumes is a peculiarity of this year's festival. I am taking part in it. I am going to present a costume with traditional Khotimsk embroidery. In days of old people used to guess from what parts a person came by looking at his or her embroidery.”
Director of the Shklov District community centers system Oksana Kudenkova said that their small exhibition features costumes dating back 200 years. “These are genuine articles worn by our forefathers. We've restored them a bit. But looking at them you can definitely see they have been worn by real people. They are very valuable for us. Every stitch, every part of the embroidery was done by hand,” she noted. “Today these costumes will participate in a contest. It is important because we will show a real part of our cultural life instead of a reconstruction.”
Guests from the Ukrainian city of Chernigov will show their national costumes as well. “We've been coming to Alexandria for about eight years already. We love the great atmosphere, the interesting celebration, a very picturesque place. In addition to bringing our national costumes this year we will participate in a contest of national costumes. We will show off our traditional embellishments,” the craftswoman Yelena Shupenko said. “The Kupala Night Festival in Alexandria demonstrates that there are no borders between craftsmen. And today we are happy to be participants of such a large and interesting festival.”
The Corridor of Epochs will be one of the interesting venues: it will feature a small Belarusian hut with a furnace and a cradle, medieval articles, and costumes of the war years. Various workshops have been prepared for visitors to allow every one of them to try their hand at traditional Belarusian crafts.
The Kupala Night Festival (Alexandria Gathers Friends) is scheduled to take place on the bank of the Dnieper River in the agrotown of Alexandria, Shklov District, Mogilev Oblast on 11-12 July.