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31 March 2015

Belarus’ longest Kupala belt to be presented at Alexandria Gathers Friends festival

MOGILEV, 31 March (BelTA) – Weavers from different districts of Mogilev Oblast have started working on a Kupala belt that is expected to become the longest one in Belarus. The craftwork will be resented at the festival Alexandria Gathers Friends in Shklov District, BelTA learned from Oleg Khmelkov, the director of the Mogilev regional methodical center for folk arts and enlightenment.

The weavers started making the belt at a regional weaving seminar. According to the schedule, weavers from different parts of Belarus will come to Mogilev to continue the work introducing the traditional local patterns into the belt. The total length of the 15cm-wide belt will be 31.5 meters.

“We will continue making the belt during the Kupala celebrations in Shklov District. Every guest will have a chance to take part in the work and learn about this ancient craft,” Oleg Khmelkov said. The organizers of the Alexandria Gathers Friends festival expect that from year to year the belt will be growing longer. They also have plans to invite Russian and Ukrainian weavers to take part in this project in the future. This year the festival will be held from 4 till 5 July.

It is not by chance that the Alexandria Gathers Friends Festival is organized in Shklov District. Since the old days the Dnieper river has been an important navigable artery that made part of the famous route from the Varangians to the Greeks, and the villages Alexandria and Kopys and the town of Shklov were traditionally the places of fairs and folk festivals. Shklov was famous for its woodcutters who were skilled in making iconostases for churches in Moscow and Smolensk. Alexandria was famous for its willow braiding, while potters from Kopys were in demand both in Belarus and Russia. The festival is an important means of preserving cultural and linguistic traditions of the Belarusian people and traditional crafts. Year after year the popularity of the festival is growing.

The guests will be able to enjoy a promenade on a picturesque bank of the Dnieper River, near the famous bridge which connects not only Alexandria and Kopys but also two oblasts, Mogilev and Vitebsk. Last year the festival brought together over 55,000 guests. The organizers expect that this year the festival will attract even more guests.


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