Intangible cultural heritage of Belarus
Belarusian excursion Internet portal Ekskursii.by offers to take part in excursions with visit to objects of intangible cultural heritage that will be of interest to all lovers of culture and history.
Intangible cultural heritage - customs, knowledge and skills, traditions and related tools, objects, artifacts recognized by communities and groups as their cultural heritage. Intangible heritage is passed on from generation to generation and forms a sense of identity and continuity in society.
In 2003 Belarus became one of the first countries to sign the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and became a member of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for its Protection. Today in Belarus there is a single State list of protection of historical and cultural values for both tangible and intangible objects. The list already includes more than 60 elements of intangible cultural heritage, some of which are on the UNESCO list.
Unique folk traditions of Belarus
Marriage of Tereshka
Place: Lepel district, Vitebsk region
Time: July 2
Kolyady game «Marriage of Tereshka» is a comic wedding, arranged by the village youth, so that couples can get to know each other better. The ceremony consists of a series of games, during which girls and boys get to know each other, and the marriage itself, which is traditionally held by elders. In 2009, the ritual game is recognized as the historical and cultural value of Belarus.
Rite of the Kalyady Tsars
Place: Semezhevo, Kopyl district, Minsk Region
Time: January 13
«Rite of the Kalyady Tsars» -a unique folk rite of the Kopyl region, which arose in the XVIII century, when the troops of the tsarist army stood near Semezhovo. On the New Year's Day, officers and soldiers went home, showed performances, sang, danced, for which they received refreshments and gifts from their hosts. After the squad left the village, the locals retained and developed this tradition. In 2009, «Rite of the Kalyady Tsars» entered the list of intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO.
Place: Budslav, Myadel district, Minsk Region
Time: July 2
The celebration in honor of the veneration of the Icon of the Mother of God of Budslav is held in the town of Budslav annually. It attracts believers from all over Belarus and neighboring countries. The celebration is one of the largest religious festivals in Belarus and has been transformed into a beautiful spiritual festival, which gathers thousands of pilgrims who want to worship the Mother of God of Budslav. In 2019, the Budslav Fest rite entered the list of intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO.
Pull Kalyada on Oak
Place: Noviny, Berezino district, Minsk Region
Time: end of January
«Pull Kalyada on Oak» - unique ceremony, the finale carnation festivals. By tradition, the villagers gather and decorate the ritual doll, then they bring the doll to the oak tree at the end of the settlement, dump and burn the old doll and pull it onto the new tree. According to legends, this ceremony attracts a rich harvest, good luck and happiness for the whole next year. In 2011, the ritual game was included in the list of intangible historical and cultural heritage of Belarus.
Place: Glubokoe district, Vitebsk region
Oil sheep - an ancient Easter dish of Belarusian cuisine with more than 200 years of history. A ram is made from homemade butter cooked in a wooden churn with salt. Oil is squeezed bit by bit through 2 layers of gauze and makes curly lamb hair. The tradition of cooking oil sheep is included in the list of intangible cultural heritage of Belarus.
Place: Glubokoe district, Vitebsk region
Rye bread - unique recipe, preserved in the Deepbotchina. Recipe unleavened rye bread for several centuries. His main secret is in a special sourdough made from rye flour and water. Housewives make such bread on a maple leaf, sometimes fat is added to spice, sausage, and an egg. The tradition of cooking oil sheep is included in the list of intangible cultural heritage of Belarus.
Place: Dribin district, Mogilev region
Shapovalstvo - craft on hand felting. Dribin felt boots were known not only in Belarus and Russia, but also abroad. Dribin shaping masters speak the conditional language Katrushnitsky Lemezen, which was formed to preserve the secrets of mastery. Since 2009, the tradition of chatter in Dribin district has the status of the intangible historical and cultural value of the Republic of Belarus.
Straw weaving of Belarus
Straw weaving is an original phenomenon of the Belarusian national culture, which has no analogues in the world. The artistic practices of straw weaving remain a living tradition that is continuously enriched. The country has established a system of teaching the craft, transferring knowledge about the technology of processing material, the continuity of its artistic traditions. Straws of cereal crops are used as ornamental material. In December 2022, the straw weaving of Belarus was included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.
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