by Karina Sitnik
Every year, more and more festivals appear in Belarus, and their organizers are constantly trying to come up with ever more impressive and memorable events. In 2018, the festivals will surprise you with their scope and variety. We have compiled a selection of not-to-be-missed festivals and events, so add a couple of new Belarusian regions to your personal map and put in a few pins for these fresh and exciting destinations! Enjoy the fun, active, open-air side of Belarus!
When: 4 -6 May
Where: Hlybokaye (Vitebsk region)
Photo by Westki.info
Glubokae, the lake-land region of Belarus, invites you to take part in the second festival of “Dudarski Rej — 2018”, which this year will take place on May 4-6. The bagpipe festival will bring together a range of guests from various regions of Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Scotland, Latvia, Belgium, Serbia and Croatia. Unlike the first festival, which was held last year, this time the event will last for three days and promises to gather numerous fans of this ancient Belarusian instrument. Dozens of concerts, parades, exhibitions and other events will fill Glubokae with the sound of bagpipes!
The event will be a part of the large-scale bagpipe revival project organized in Belarus.
When: 25-27 May
Photo by Brest Bike Festival
A large-scale festival that brings together motorbike riders from even the most remote corners of the country and Europe. This festival, which has a very distinctive feel, has already become part of the brand of the Brest region. Here, moped riders and professional motorbikes demonstrate their skills, teach visitors to ride their “kickers” and “choppers”, chat with like-minded people and generally have fun.
The program of the festival always includes performances of famous rock bands. Get soaked in the unique of the tent camp, listen to the roar of motorcycles and feel the smell of burning tires!
Festival of National Cultures
When: 1-2 June
Photo by Grodnonews.by
More than 800 participants of 35 different diasporas will pass through the main streets of the city proudly displaying their culture. This event unites all national diasporas living in Belarus, contributing to the preservation of national identity and, at the same time, mutual understanding and enrichment of cultures.
The festival of national cultures is held once every two years. The theme for 2018 is “Folk Variety”: the traditional procession, the festival’s signature event, will include elements of folk fairs, e.g. a circus and a number of entertainment booth. Guests and participants will enjoy stylized traditional farmsteads, firework displays, an exhibition of national toys, a two-day quest game, an ethno-party and performances by local pop stars.
When: 16-17 June
Photo by Svyata Sontsa
This festival brings together admirers of folk music, traditions and light of Kupalle. Kupalle is one of the most ancient folk festivals, dedicated to the sun and the flowering of the earth. “Svyata Sontsa” — literally meaning “Festival of the Sun” — brings together the best musical bands, creating a truly special holiday atmosphere. Fire is the main symbol of the festival, so get ready for a magnificent fire show!
Dances and songs, mead and zbitten tasting, wreath-weaving workshops, theater performances and “solar music” all await you at the festival!
When: 13-15 July
Photo by Ales Piletski
At this event, city streets serve as the main stage, and the special effects are provided by the weather. The festival, showcasing work by talented artists in a variety of genres, creates an art landscape which any visitor can partake. You don’t have to buy an entry ticket, just take a walk through Vitebsk to witness it or even take part in the action.
“On Seven Winds” is a relatively festival, gathering musicians, performers, theaters, dancers, poets, puppeteers and more. The art is taking over the city for the whole three days!
When: 21-22 July
Photo by Our Grunwald
This year, the International Festival of Medieval Culture and Music “Our Grunwald 2018” will take place for the tenth time. As per tradition, the festival will be dedicated to military and secular culture, the traditions of our ancestors. You will see a reconstruction of the most important event — a massive medieval European battle, held on July 15, 1410, between the troops of the Teutonic Order and its allies: The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (now the territory of Belarus) and the Kingdom of Poland.
Representatives of military historical reconstruction clubs from Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Russia and the Baltic countries will take part in the theatrical reconstruction of episodes of this legendary battle. The festival will also include a concert called “After-Battle Feast”, featuring some of the best folk, folk-rock and folk-metal bands.
When: 27-30 July
Photo by Olga Emelianova
The ninth “Big Bard Fishing” will be held at the Chigirinsky Reservoir, near the village of Chechevichi. The program includes concerts of famous bards, a songwriter competition, steaming and sauna master classes, as well as other activities connected with active tourism. “Big Bard Fishing” is unique because it brings together music, sports, ecotourism, and active leisure under the open sky for several days.
In 2013, festival participants cooked the largest bowl of fish soup in the world — about 3.2 thousand liters! The result was documented in the Guinness Records Book.
When: 4-5 August
Photo by Mstislavski Fest
This will not be the first time for the city of Mstislavl to become a center of medieval culture. A large-scale Knight Festival of Medieval Culture traditionally takes place near the ancient fortress of Mstislavl. The visitor will be treated to armoured knight fights, ostentatious archery performances and scenes from great historical battles. Guests of the festival will also be entertained with interactive games and folk rock music.
Visit the festival and go riding on graceful horses, learn to dance medieval dances, try your hand in various competitions or simply enjoy a great show!