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12 Dec 2019

Another Belarusian folk rite added to UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list

Another Belarusian folk rite added to UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list

MINSK, 12 December (BelTA) -The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage decided to inscribe the element “Spring Rite of Jurauski Karahod” into the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding at its 14th session in Bogota, Colombia, BelTA learned from Natalia Khvir, the head of the historical and cultural heritage protection department at the Culture Ministry.

Work to prepare the nomination file for the inclusion into the UNESCO list was financed by the Culture Ministry and involved the carriers of the element, Belarusian experts and also the National Commission for UNESCO, the Permanent Mission of Belarus to UNESCO in Paris, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This is Belarus’ third element in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. This status was granted to the traditional folk rite Kalyady Tsars (Christmas Tsars) in the village of Semezhevo, Kopyl District, Minsk Oblast in 2009, and Celebration in Honor of the Budslau Icon of Our Lady (Budslau Fest) in the town of Budslau, Myadel District, Minsk Oblast in 2018.

The Jurauski Karahod rite has been inscribed on the State List of Historical and Cultural Values of Belarus. The living form of the rite has survived only in Pogost Village, Zhitkovichi District, Gomel Oblast. It is a small village with the population of about 500 people, located in the south of the country, not far from the ancient town of Turov (founded in the 10th century and known as a center of early Christianity on Belarusian lands). The active group of the rite performers consists of women of all ages (between 12 and 70), who know the rules and can sing the songs of the rite, and also musicians (one or two men) and men, who lead the procession and carry the icon and the ritual bread (‘karahod’). Women are also responsible for making costumes and ritual bread. Other members of the community participate in the ceremony and festivities. The rite attracts residents of neighboring villages, who can also be performers. They also sing ritual songs and dance.

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