What to bring from Belarus? What souvenirs can be found only here and nowhere else in the world? What souvenirs can deliver the unique character of this hospitable country in the center of Europe?
Belarus has long been famous for its linen fabrics, symbolic rushnyks (embroidered towels), unique products made of straw, clay and wood, valenki (felt boots) and hats made of sheepskin.
Belarus boasts organic dairy and meat products, an extraordinary variety of potato dishes, delicious and savory bread, original alcoholic drinks with herbs, sweets made from apples and health-giving cranberry.
May your Belarus’ experience be filled with bright colorful impressions and made-with-heart souvenirs!
In Belarus flax has been cultivated since ancient times. Flax fibers were used to make fabrics, clothes, beautiful household items, toys for children. Seeds were used to make bread, tasty kissel (a sweet drink resembling thin jelly). No wonder blue flowers adorn the National Emblem of Belarus.
Flax is an amazing material: the fabric can be coarse (banya towels) and soft (summer dresses) but always environmentally-friendly and good for health.
Souvenirs: linen clothes, bedclothes, tablecloths decorated with embroidery and sophisticated decor, table napkins, bath towels, pot holders, bags, wallets
Neglyubla rushnyks (towels)
This is a unique symbol of national culture. In the 18th-19th centuries, belts were made manually out of silk, silver and golden threads using a sophisticated weaving technology at the manufactory of Dukes Radziwills. Two craftsmen made no more than six belts a year. Such expensive and extraordinarily beautiful accessories were worn by magnates and wealthy nobles.
Today authentic Slutsk belts are a rarity. Most of them are kept in museums and private collections across the world. But Belarus has been working to revive the unique production technology of Slutsk belts.
Souvenirs: You can buy souvenirs resembling the famous Slutsk belts. Items similar to the authentic belts will soon appear on sale. Belts of the highest price segment will be made of golden threads and silk. Lower-priced belts will be made of flax linen, cotton, wool, and lurex threads.
Belarusian grew fond of straw for its beauty and warmth. When skillfully handled, it can be turned into a wonderful piece of art. Straw wreaths, bundles and figurines were used in Belarusian folk rites. The famous iconostases made from straw, a tradition common only for our country, were made in the Belarusian Polesye in the 18th -19th centuries. Perhaps nowhere else in the world you can find such diverse application of this unusual material, which presents the energy of the Sun.
Souvenirs: straw braided figurines of animals and birds, flowers, hats and sandals, dolls and amulets, boxes and chests, accessories and pictures made of straw. Wooden souvenirs incrusted with straw: boxes and snuffboxes, chess sets, clocks, Easter eggs, toys.
Belarusian exclusive: Straw “spider”.“The spider” has a symbolic meaning and is an amulet designed to protect the house and ensure the well-being of the family
Unique ceramics workshops have existed in different regions of Belarus from ancient times. Each craftsman had his own secrets in molding including shaping, painting and glaze compound.
Belarusian women used ceramic ware to keep milk fresh and make delicious national dishes. The Belarusians also made clay musical instruments.
Souvenirs: figurines of animals and birds (European bison, beaver, stork, lark), penny whistles, hand bells, candle holders (in shape of Belaya Vezha), plaques, magnet souvenirs, ceramic crockery
Belarusian exclusive: Mozyr ceramic bear toys
In Belarus, a land of forests, wood has been widely used for construction and art purposes. Wood has been used to make furniture, utensils, beautiful decorations.
Souvenirs: wooden utensils, boxes and chests, figurines of people, animals (European bison), birds, carved furniture.
Hundreds of years ago Belarusians used osier to make house walls and fences, baby cribs, baskets for fruits and mushrooms. Today craftsmen continue the traditions of their ancestors. Using different types and colors of osier, various sophisticated techniques and patterns they create amazing things.
Souvenirs: baskets, bread bins, trays, plates, cache-pots, lapty (bast shoes). You can also buy beautiful handmade osier furniture in Belarus.
Making felt hats and boots from sheep wool is another ancient craft of Belarusians. These things were indispensible in bitter-cold weather. The town of Dribin, which has been known for felting traditions from the 18th century, keeps the ancestral secrets of boot-felting today. Belarus is preparing a portfolio to get the Dribin felt-making traditions and special language used by craftsmen inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Souvenirs: valenki (felt boots), hats
Belarusian exclusive: Dribin valenki
First factories producing crystal and glass ware were built in Belarus more than 100 years ago. Belarusian glassmakers have become famous for their fine artistic taste and works of excellent quality. The most famous glass factories are Neman Glass Works and Borisov Crystal Factory.
Souvenirs: crystal and glass ware (glass, wineglasses, decanters), vases for flowers and fruits, candle holders, glass paperweights, cut glass boxes, souvenirs (figurines of animals and birds, Easter eggs, fruits), stained-glass windows
Belarus’ oldest confectionery Krasny Pischevik has been making delicious and healthy zephyr, pastille, marmalade of natural fruits and berries for more than a century already. Tourists fall in love with chocolate bars and candies made by the Belarusian confectionaries Kommunarka and Spartak.
Souvenirs: zephyr, marmalade, chocolate, candies (candies with cranberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, ashberry), syrups and jams made of wild berries
In ancient times Belarusians drank honey-brewed drinks. In the 15th century they learned to make garelka, a home-distilled vodka, and to brew beer. Large breweries started to open in the 19th century. Their traditions are continued by the distilleries of today.
Belarusian vodka made to old recipes, liqueurs with herbs (for example, vanilla grass from the Belovezhskaya Pushcha), balsams with a rich composition of ingredients (herbs and buds of trees, berry fruits, spices, honey).
Souvenirs: vodka, liqueurs, balsams in souvenir bottles (glass and clay bottles, linen and leather bags)