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Minsk tops CIS list of cities for virtual tours

Tour program ‘Loshitsa Estate in the 19th -  early 20th centuries’

Loshitsa Estate, one of the most popular sights of Minsk, invites you to go on a musical journey. During the tour of the estate, visitors will not only see the stylized interiors of the estate in which the eminent owners Eustachy Prushinsky, Ivan and Eustachy Lyubansky lived, but also learn about their fates, habits, way of life, and secrets that the walls of the estate keep. Musical program for the tour will feature the polonaise of the diplomat and composer Michal Kleofas Oginski "Farewell to the Motherland", Napoleon Orda’s piece "Serenade", a piece from the collection "Polotsk Notebook", the works of the German Johannes Brahms and Russian composer-philosopher Alexander Scriabin.

When: every Sunday at 15.00 and 17.00
Where: Loshitsa Estate museum, 10 Chizhevskikh Proezd, Minsk

Exhibition project "Museum of Christmas Tree Baubles" in the National Historical Museum

The Museum of Christmas Baubles in the run-up to the New Year will again open its doors to connoisseurs of original decorations. All in all, the collection, which is replenished every year, contains more than 2,000 baubles from 70 countries. Here, each object reflects its time, while the exhibition itself narrates the history of the creation of glass baubles and other decorations from the mid-19th century to the present day. Guests can see beautiful vintage toys and purchase or even make a gift for loved ones.

When: November 6, 2022 – February 7, 2023
Where: National Historical Museum, 12 Karl Marx Street, Minsk

Winter holidays in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The famous relict forest of Europe – the Belovezhskaya Pushcha national park - hosts guests all year round. But in winter, this place becomes especially attractive! In addition to admiring the unique beauty of snow-covered nature and getting acquainted with the wildlife of the forest, people rush here to spend an amazing time in the Belarusian Father Frost’s estate, the most fairytale residence of the country.

The holiday season will begin on 3 December with the traditional and popular  event - the welcome ceremony for Snow Maiden. In the fairytale estate, she will appear together with Mother Winter and her daughters - Vyuga, Stuzha and Metelitsa. On this day, guests will become participants in two exciting festivals at once. "Lights of Winter" will bring together vocal performers and amateur groups that will perform non-stop in the open-air. The festival "Kind Wizards" will feature fairytale characters. The holiday will traditionally culminate in the ceremony of lighting the lights on the Belovezhskaya Christmas tree.

With the beginning of winter, the number of guests in Belovezhskaya Pushcha increases significantly. Up to 6,000 people come to visit the Father Frost per day. To learn more about this hectic time, please see our new report from the forest. By the way, Snow Maiden and Mother Winter with their daughters will stay in the Father Frost’s estate until the end of Maslenitsa (26 February 2023).

When: from 3 December
Where: Kamenyuki village, Kamenets District, Brest Oblast, Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, Father Frost’s estate

International Orthodox Music Festival Kolozhsky Blagovest

After a two-year hiatus the International Orthodox Music Festival Kolozhsky Blagovest once again invites to enjoy clean voices, the beauty of sound and the soulfulness of church hymns. The church music festival will be held for the 20th time and will feature the music groups from the Grodno Eparchy. They will sing hymns in Church Slavonic, Belarusian, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish as “the whole world celebrates Christmas”. The program will feature more than 90 parish groups - from large choirs of city churches to chamber ensembles of village churches of Grodno Oblast. The concerts will be held on Sundays.

When, where: 15 January - 12 February, 14.00
5 February – concerts of choirs of Berestovitsa and Svisloch parishes, Svisloch Center of Culture and Folk Art;
12 February – concert of the choirs of Grodno and Skidel parishes, Vertelishki Center of Culture.

Fruits of the Earth exhibition in the National Art Museum of Belarus

Fruits of the Earth is a large-scale exhibition project that looks into the concept of fruits both in a sense of the results of the work of a person or a nation and also in a more general, universal one - divine gifts, symbols of wisdom, love and joy. The exhibition includes about 40 works by more than 30 artists of Belarus from the 18th to the end of the 20th century from the collections of the National Art Museum. The exhibition runs several sections: "Flowers and Fruits", "Garden of Eden", "Harvest", "Dialogue", "Life on the Table", "In the Style of Cezanne". Belarusian painters see the fruits of the earth - apples, pears, plums, pumpkins – as motives for creativity and experimentation.

When: 20 January - 5  March
Where: National Art Museum, 20 Lenin Street, Minsk in Belarus

The Gastrofest festival explores new ideas, this time it is coffee. For 17 days in the capital and regional cities, lovers of the fragrant drink will be able to enjoy tasting sets consisting of a cup of coffee and dessert. Within the framework of the festival in Minsk, a focus group of the most devoted coffee connoisseurs will  appreciate the originality of the sets and the professionalism of participants. The focus group will be led by the guru of the coffee industry Marina Voskresenskaya, national coordinator of SCA Belarus, founder of Coffee Fest Belarus.

When: 2 – 19 February
Where: Minsk, Brest, Gomel, Grodno, Vitebsk

Rhythms of Africa program in the Belarusian State Circus

The Belarusian State Circus will launch the exotic program on 4 February: this time viewers will undertake a journey from the winter Minsk to the heart of the hot African continent! They will see new countries, get acquainted with the indigenous people, learn about their talents, abilities, hobbies and ways of life in a hot climate. Artists are winners of prestigious circus festivals and competitions in Monte Carlo (Monaco), Spain, France, Latin America.

When: 2 – 19 February
Where: Minsk, Brest, Gomel, Grodno, Vitebsk

USSR Disco concert in Minsk Arena

Belarus’ largest concert venue invites to a bright show of live sound and time-tested hits. Minsk Arena will again host the music project “USSR Disco” beloved by fans. The concert will last for four hours and will feature many famous singers and bands. The special guest is Dschinghis Khan band.

When: 11 February
Where: 111 Pobeditelei Avenue, Minsk Arena, Minsk

Spring in Havana: Iliana Sachez (Cuba) and Ovrutsky Arc Quintet

Iliana Sachez’ road to fame started in 2018 when she took part in the popular show The Voice Russia, and a year later - in the New Wave song contest in Sochi. The audience will get a feel of the atmosphere of a warm spring night in Havana. Accompanied by the Ovrutsky Arc Quintet, the mezzo-soprano will perform famous American jazz songs - What a Wonderful World, It don't Mean a Thing, Feeling Good, as well as classical and modern Cuban jazz hits such as Besame Mucho, Quizas, El Cantante, Que Te Pedi, Bemba Colora…

When: 12 February
Where: Belarusian State Philharmonic Society, 50 Nezavisimosti Avenue, Minsk

Viktor Babarikin’s project “Man & Woman at the Philharmonic”

On the eve of St. Valentine’s Day, Honored Artist of Belarus, conductor Viktor Babarikin will present his project - “Man & Woman at the Philharmonic”. The concert will feature popular vocal and instrumental pieces for a variety symphony orchestra. The audience will hear People’s Artist of Belarus Vladimir Gromov, Honored Artist of Belarus Yelena Shvedova, soloist of the National Opera of Belarus Aleksandr Krasnodubsky, soloist of the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society Kirill Starostenko, laureate of international competitions Natalya Tolstik, soloists of the choir and orchestra of the honored collective of Belarus Sonorus Capella.

When: 13 February
Where: Belarusian State Philharmonic Society, 50 Nezavisimosti Avenue, Minsk

Candlemas rite

The winter rite Gramnitsy originated back in the pagan times: it was on this day that our ancestors made sacrifices to the god Perun (Thunder). As legend has it, after the holiday you can hear the first thunder heralding the imminent arrival of warmth. Subsequently, the pagan rite Gramnitsy merged with the church holiday Sretenie (Strechanne, or Candlemas) that marks the seasonal border between winter and spring, and also reminds Christian believers of the meeting of Jesus Christ with the righteous Simeon and Anna the Prophetess in the Jerusalem temple. On this day, our ancestors consecrated candles that were used in various ceremonies throughout the year and were kept behind the icons.

When: 15 February
Where: Village of Novoye Polesie, Lelchitsy District, Gomel Oblast

Minsk Jazz Festival 2023

Belarusian Jazz Day is celebrated on 4 February. This year it will mark its 93rd anniversary. The starting point was 1939 when Eddie Rosner put together the first big band in Minsk, which grew from the State Jazz Orchestra of the BSSR to the National Academic Concert Orchestra. The legacy of the great jazzman dubbed “White Louis Armstrong” was revived by Mikhail Finberg. The maestro led the orchestra since 1987 (now the orchestra bears his name). The orchestra musicians can play all kinds of music, from pop music to folk music. In 1989 Mikhail Finberg launched the famous annual Minsk Jazz Festival. In February 2023 this festival will offer a variety of programs - a concert in memory of Mikhail Finberg, Jazz Kaleidoscope, Youth in Jazz.

When: 15–17 February
Where: Dzerzhinsky Club, 30 Komsomolskaya Street, Minsk

Maslenitsa 2023

Maslenitsa, one of the most jovial folk holidays, originated in the pagan times. It marks the departure of winter and the arrival of spring. Pancake Week (Cheese Week) falls on the last week before Lent. This period is very important to Christianity. During this period people reconcile with neighbors, forgive offenses, prepare for the repentant path to God. The main symbol of the holiday is the Sun, so on Maslenitsa housewives bake a traditional treat - pancakes. During the Maslenitsa Week 2023, folk festivals will take place throughout the country;  concerts, theatrical performances and shows, including batleika and amateur music bands, sports competitions ...

When: 20-26 February
Where: Squares and city parks, ethnographic complexes and open-air museums, ski resorts

Universe Orchestra: Greatest Rock Songs in Minsk

The world’s best rock songs will be performed by the Universe Orchestra in a program that will include compositions of legendary rock bands - Queen, Scorpions, Metallica, Nirvana, Deep Purple, Europe, Rammstein, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Status Quo. The spectators of the new show and the orchestra admirers will enjoy a unique atmosphere created by the powerful sound of instruments, the energy of a live performance, video installations on a big screen, lighting and special effects.

When: 25 February
Where: Minsk Concert Hall, 5 Oktyabrskaya Street, Minsk

Calling of Spring festival

The Calling of Spring rite has survived to this day in different regions of the country and has acquired its own unique flavor depending on the locality. It is a colorful, original and musical Belarusian festival. Back in the old days with the advent of warm weather people used songs to call for the spring and its faithful companions – birds. Visitors to the old village of Bezdezh, famous for its finest fabrics and unusual aprons, will get a chance to see an ancient rite featuring melodious songs, round dances and merry-making. Here you will hear the performance of folk bands, taste local dishes, take part in workshops from artisans, contests, ancient youth games.

When: 26 February
Where: the agro-town of Bezdezh, Drogichin District, Brest Oblast

Chyrachka spring calling rite

Maslenitsa Week in the village of Tonezh will wrap up with a traditional rite of calling for spring, which has survived to this day. The locals have given the name “chyrachki” to common teals, which are believed to be harbingers of warm weather and bring spring on their wings. The preparations for the rite are made in advance: locals bake bird-shaped cookies, bring a young fir tree from a forest, make an effigy. Children gather in the morning to decorate the tree with paper flowers. Then the fir tree and the winter effigy are taken to the mountain outside the village. The rite culminates here with the participants fixing the fir tree on an oak tree - closer to the sun so that birds fly in faster. Then they light a fire and throw the effigy into the flames, they call for spring with songs, round dances, and games.

When: 26 February
Where: the agro-town of Tonezh, Lelchitsy District, Gomel Oblast

Rockophony: Symphonic rock show accompanied by Grodno choir

The exclusive Rockophony project, which has been a success since 2019, is a combination of symphonic and rock music accompanied by professional musical bands. Pierre Edel, a French singer, participant of the TV shows The Voice in four countries, a member of the Belarusian show, will perform with the chamber orchestra of the Grodno Chapel. Yann Zhanchak, a Belarusian musician, singer, composer, arranger, ex-member of the Yankey, Pesnyary and Lyavony bands, will make part of the performance. The show will feature well-known and beloved compositions, as well as new cinema soundtracks.

When: 28 February
Where: Grodno Oblast Phylharmonic, 17 Gornovykh Street, Grodno

Great Patriotic War monuments in Belarus