Kupalle Holiday — Alexandria gathers friends on 11-12 July 202018.06.2020
The National Kupala Night Festival is an annual festivity held in the town of Alexandria, located in Shklov District, Mogilev Oblast, Belarus.
Kupalle is one of the country’s oldest folk festivities celebrating the sun and blooming nature and centered upon the summer solstice. It has parallels in multiple cultures across Europe, e.g. Bulgaria’s Ivanovden (The day of St. John the Baptist), Hungary’s Szentiván-éj (Saint Ivan's Night), Spain’s San Juan and Latvia’s Līgosvētki (Līgo Festival). The East Slavic version of it is known as Ivan Kupala – and it is in Belarus that this holiday is celebrated with particular zeal.
Since 2010 the town of Alexandria, has been hosting annual Kupala Night festivities gathering thousands of guests and featuring numerous masters and connoisseurs of decorative arts and crafts as well as creative teams, both professional and amateur.
The festival’s main organizers are the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus and the Mogilev Regional Executive Committee.
The President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has been a regular participant in the festivities.
The celebration is traditionally held on the banks of the Dnieper. This river, whose bed was the cradle of many Slavic cultures, once formed a crucial part of the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. From ancient times, the Dnieper has served as a waterway connecting the peoples of the nowadays Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Today it remains one of the region’s most important communication axes linking the Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian regions within its basin and contributing to their mutually beneficial trade, economic and socio-cultural cooperation and strengthening interregional integration.
The National Kupala Night Festival is a mass-scale creative event aimed at the preservation and development of cultural tradition as well as at mutual cultural enrichment. It is a holiday with a constantly expanding geographical scope.
The festival’s programme includes creative venues, concerts, multiple entertainment events and competitions featuring a wide variety of creative teams, Mogilev Region’s folk theater troupes, top art talents from all regions of Belarus as well as creative teams and individuals from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.
As part of the festive programme Belarus’ regions present Kupala Night-styled farmsteads so guests can get to know their brand festivals, contests, holidays and open-airs. A variety of cultural installations representing individual regions, cities and even neighbourhoods serve to reflect their cultural uniqueness as well as to popularise their remarkable and singular traditions, customs, legends, unique, values, crafts, dishes, etc.
Crafts by talents from across the country are represented widely: pottery, ceramics, fullery, coopering, embroidery, lace making, straw weaving, wood carving, etc. The festival’s themed platforms work for two days.
The festival’s Youth Hub serves to demonstrate achievements by young people in realms such as sports, creativity, science and technology. It also hosts music events and games by teams of young creative talents, quests, workshops, exhibitions, craft fairs by various educational institutions. In the course of the Youth Hub activities, the finest decorative art and technical creativity works representing various techniques and made of various materials are showcased to the public.
Every year the organisers keep coming up with new ideas for creative projects to be included in the festival’s programme, e.g. “The Best Kupala Night Wreaths”, “The Best Kupala Night Outfit”, etc.
Kupala Night festivities culminate in a gala concert followed by spectacular fireworks.
Guests of the festival can also watch circus performances, enjoy airplane and parachuting shows or go on the ride to the amusement park zone.
Throughout the festive days, visitors and participants are offered a chance to get to know and taste the cuisines of Belarus and of the participating nations in their richness and breathtaking variety.
Photography zones are also available so that guests can take home a couple of pictures that will remind them of the spectacular festivities.