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Press releases

15 Dec 2015

Christmas and New Year in Belarus

Christmas and New Year in BelarusChristmas and New Year holidays are a perfect time for visiting Belarus. You will see the country’s most popular sites during an unpredictable yet charming winter season, immerse yourself in the Belarusian festive spirit, take part in joyful celebrations, and learn about local customs and traditions.

In anticipation of the favorite holidays, the streets and squares of Belarusian cities become venues for parades and processions of Father Frosts and Snow Maidens and also for Christmas fairs with gifts and souvenirs. Besides, large shopping malls start to offer Christmas sales and discounts.

Belarus’ hospitable eco- and rural tourism estates invite tourists to spend winter holidays in Belarus and enjoy the beauty of the nature, taste traditional Christmas dishes of the Belarusian cuisine, and take part in Christmas rites

Belarusian ski resorts are also preparing presents for those who love extreme sports. They offer not only steep and difficult slopes, but also training tracks for beginners.

The New Years Eve 2015/2016 in Minsk will be full of colorful events and entertainments held in different parts of the city. Throughout the winter holidays, Belarusians and guests will be invited to attend spectacular shows, gala concerts at the leading theaters, best opera and ballet premieres, masquerade balls, jazz evenings, and exhibitions.

Shows, Concerts, and Exhibitions

Exhibition of Christmas tree decorations in Minsk

Exhibition of Christmas tree decorations in MinskIn anticipation of Christmas and New Year, an exhibition of unique Christmas tree decorations invites Minsk residents and guests to become immersed in the magic atmosphere they might remember from their childhood. Last year, it was visited by some 30,000 people. The exhibition traces the history of glass Christmas tree decorations from the middle of the 19th century up to now. It features some 400 rare ornaments from the private collection of Andrei Begun. The exhibits include such rare items as an Austrian-Hungarian glass ball ornament dating back to late 19th century from a real Vienna Christmas ball. The visitors are invited to blow and paint their own glass ornaments and send postcards to their friends and family via the Father Frost’s Mail Service.

When: 21 November – 17 January
Where: National History Museum, Minsk

Christmas Jazz Bridge in Minsk

Christmas Jazz Bridge in MinskFor the first time the Jazz Nights at the Minsk Town Hall, which usually take place in June, will be held ahead of Christmas and New Year. The festival will feature performances by best jazz musicians from Europe and the United States. Among the participants will be European jazz star, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mads Mathias who already performed for Belarusian audience in summer this year. This time he will play with famous Belarusian band Apple Tea. Other participants include virtuoso vocalist Cleveland Watkiss, British singer Ian Shaw, drummer Billy Drummond, and English jazz singer and pianist Anthony Strong.

When: 19 December
Where: Central Officer's Club, Minsk

New Year Swing in Belarusian State Philharmonic

New Year Swing in Belarusian State PhilharmonicNational jazz legend, virtuoso pianist Leonid Chizhik became the first Soviet musician to perform abroad in the 1960-80s. Even in those days American newspapers called him "the best jazz musician on the other side of the Iron Curtain". The holder of the title "Grand Master" awarded at the Carnegie Hall continues to amaze music lovers with new programs which are a synthesis of classical music and jazz tunes. The concert will include improvisations to the classical themes, Christmas songs of different peoples, world hits and pop hits.

When: 20 December 
Where: Shirma Small Hall, Belarusian State Philharmonic Hall, Minsk

Belarus’ Main Christmas Tree celebration for children

Belarus’ Main Christmas Tree celebration for childrenThe country’s main Christmas Tree celebration in the Palace of Republic will bring together more than 2,000 children from different regions of Belarus. Young guests together with the characters of the fantastic story about school pupils Artyom, Zhenya and Pasha will make a journey into the world of the Internet and computer technology where an ordinary keyboard, a mouse and insidious viruses come to life. The festive performance "Virtual New Year", which involves more than 100 actors, will feature interesting plot twists, colorful decorations, modern lighting and sound effects. According to the tradition, the favorite fairytale characters – Father Frost and Snow Maiden will wish children happy holidays, and give sweets.

When: 20 December 2015 – 6 January 2016
Where: Palace of the Republic, Minsk

Big Christmas concert in Minsk

Big Christmas concert in MinskOn the Christmas Eve, the best performers invite to celebrate the holiday of the year in the historic heart of the Belarusian capital – the Upper Town. The chamber ensemble Minsk-Classic will perform the pieces by famous composers: Johann Strauss, Jacques Offenbach, Aram Khachaturian, Yevgeny Glebov, Yevgeny Doga, Valery Gavrilin. A children's choir will perform Christmas songs thus contributing to the festive mood. The concert will be emceed by Maksim Rassokha, a musician and conductor, a scholar, a prize holder of the Fund of the President for Support of Talented Youth.

When: 24 December
Where: Upper Town concert hall, Minsk

Retro-Style New Year Party in Music Theater

Retro-Style New Year Party in Music TheaterBelarusian Music Theater invites to celebrate the New Year's Eve in retro style. The concert will feature the best foreign and domestic pop music pieces of the 1970-90s. A few hours before the New Year night the melodies of the past era will be performed by leading soloists of the music theater: Belarus People's Artist Natalya Gaida, Honored Artists Margarita Aleksandrovich and Anton Zayanchkovsky, prizewinners of international contests Lesya Lyut, Viktor Tsirkunovich, Lidia Kuzmitskaya, Natalia Dementyeva, Nikolai Rusetsky, Anzor Alimirzoyev, Artem Khomichenok. The show will be an original mix of popular songs, spectacular numbers and surprises.

When: 31 December
Where: Belarusian Academic music Theater, Minsk

New Year gala concert in Bolshoi Theater of Belarus

New Year gala concert in Bolshoi Theater of BelarusThe Bolshoi Theater of Belarus will give a gala concert which will include arias, duets and scenes from the world famous operas by Verdi, Rossini, Gershwin, Puccini, Bizet, Dvorak, Rachmaninoff. Among the soloists will be Belarus’ People's Artist Vladimir Petrov, Honored Artists Nina Sharubina and Vasily Kovalchuk, Anastasia Moskvina, Vladimir Gromov and also Oksana Volkova, Ilya Silchukov, winners of international competitions Eduard Martynyuk, Marina Likhosherst, Vasily Mingalev, Diana Trifonova. The gala will also include the variations to the ballets Le Corsaire, Paquita, La Bayadere and Swan Lake which will feature the leading artists of the theater Alexander Butrimovich, Anna Fokina, Andrei Siroshtan, Natalia Ivasenko, Andrei Posokh and Tatyana Podobedova.

When: 29, 30 and 31 December
Where: Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater, Minsk

New Year and Christmas Balls

New Year’s Ball in Palace of Republic

New Year’s Ball in Palace of RepublicA big New Year’s Ball will be held in the reception hall of the Palace of the Republic on the night between 31 December and 1 January for the first time ever. Participants of the masquerade ball will make part of a grandiose show which is to blend in various genres and art forms: opera, popular music and songs, flamboyant Gipsy dances. The show will include opera arias from People’s Artist of Belarus Vladimir Gromov, and also the best songs of the outgoing year sung by famous Belarusian singers accompanied by the Presidential Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus. Guests will receive New Year’s greetings and presents from the country’s main Father Frost, and also take part in various competitions…

When: 31 December
Where: Palace of Republic, Minsk

Children’s Christmas Ball in Mir Castle

Children’s Christmas Ball in Mir CastleBelarus’ architectural pearl – Mir Castle  – invites young ladies and gentlemen aged 6-13 to the traditional Christmas Ball that was founded by legendary duke Michal Kazimierz Radziwill Rybenko in the 18th century. A solemn ceremony, elegant attire, the ceremonial of the court, difficult pas and entertaining games will make the ball an unforgettable event for its participants. As tradition demands, the palace will hold a master class for the guests and teach them new dances. Every year the children’s ball in Mir Castle brings good mood and positive emotions to its participants. The seven-day festivities will gather hundreds of classical dance fans.

When: 2, 3, 9, 10 January
Where: Mir Castle

Mir Castle Ball

Mir Castle BallThe famous Mir Castle, a landmark inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, will also host a grand ball in the traditions of the 19th century for adults. Ladies and gentlemen in sumptuous ball gowns and evening wear of the period will become the main participants of the event to be held in the Portrait Hall of the famous residence of the Wittgenstein and Svyatopolk-Mirsky Dukes. The official dance program will include the most popular dances of the Romanticism: polonaise, waltz, French quadrille and mazurka. Guests of the ball will take part in an interactive play, dance master classes, ancient games.

When: 8 January
Where: Portrait Hall, Mir Castle

New Year’s Ball in Bolshoi Theater

New Year’s Ball in Bolshoi TheaterIt is the seventh year in a row that the Bolshoi Theater of Belarus joins the ancient tradition of balls, so loved in Europe from the earliest times. The country’s main theater invites its fans to celebrate the Old New Year in the company of opera and ballet stars. The Big New Year’s Ball in the Opera Theater will traditionally feature dance programs of several famous balls, namely the Russian, Viennese and Princely Balls. In a span of several months the ball participants have been attending dance classes learning traditional dances of the 19th century: polonaise, waltz, contradance, waltz-mazurka, polka, gallopade…

When: 13 January
Where: Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater of Belarus, Minsk

Visiting Father Frost: New year tours and amusements

Residence of Belarusian Father Frost in Belovezhskaya PushchaThe famous Residence of Belarusian Father Frost is located in Europe’s oldest forest, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, which is a unique landmark for our country and for the whole world. Therefore, people arriving in Belarus during Christmas holidays always visit the place where they can see centuries-old pristine landscapes, magnificent European bisons, who were almost extinct at the beginning of the 20th century, and, of course, visit the majestic estate. Learn more here.

By the way, during the New Year celebrations the guests of Belarus can visit many interesting places where they can forget about daily routine and plunge into the wonderful world of fairy tales.

Residence of Father Frost in Berezina Reserve

Residence of Father Frost in Berezina ReserveDuring the Christmas vacation, school children can take a fascinating trip to the residence of Father Frost on the territory of one of the largest nature reserves in Europe, the Berezina Biosphere Reserve. As part of the Guests of the Fairy Tale tour, children and their parents can meet with Father Frost and Snow Maiden, old witch Baba Yaga and the wonderful mascot of the region, Bolotnik Neobyknovennyi. Accompanied by fairy tale characters, the guests can take a tour around the estate, visit the Nature Museum, and watch an interesting film. But, perhaps, the tour to the Forest Zoo will be the most impressive event. Visitors of the residence will sing cheerful songs, dance around a Christmas tree, take part in contests and lotteries, get candy gifts. The bravest guests can take part in ancient amusements, for example, a ride around the Residence of Father Frost in a sleigh or a cart with a pair of swift horses…

When: starting from 12 December
Where: Berezina Biosphere Reserve, Vitebsk Oblast

Father Frost in Minsk Gorky Park

Father Frost in Minsk Gorky ParkThe house of Father Frost will open in the most popular park in Minsk during the New Year celebrations. Children can come with parents to talk to their favorite New Year character, share their impressions about the departing year, recite a poem or sing a song, and a get a present for their excellent behavior. Besides, on the day of Orthodox Christmas (7 January) the guests of this small estate in Minsk will learn interesting facts from the history of this merry holiday.

When: 23 December 2015 – 7 January 2016
Where: Gorky Central Children’s Park, Minsk

Father Frost’s Ice Room in Minsk

Father Frost’s Ice Room in MinskThe first ice room in Belarus located in the center of Minsk teleports its visitors to a northern country of fantastic beauty populated by fairy tale characters created by renowned ice sculptors. Some of the colorfully lit ice sculptures weigh several tonnes. In the room one can find Father Frost’s throne, a sofa, a sleigh, a trunk with candies, and also its inhabitants – a wise owl, a joyful bear, a tiny piglet, and a timid hare. Visitors of the ice room are invited to see unique exhibits and taste ice cream. During the Christmas celebrations they will be welcomed by the owner of the ice room, Father Frost, and his devoted servants, magic elves.

When: 7 December – 15 January
Where: ALL House shopping center, Minsk

New Year fairs and sales

Christmas Market in Minsk

Christmas Market in MinskFrom mid-December the largest trade areas in the Belarusian capital host traditional Christmas fairs where you can spend excellent time together with your friends and buy New Year gifts. Wooden houses embellished with tinsel of various colors and festoons attract visitors with all-time favorite melodies and festive illuminations. The temporary outlets offer New Year tree decorations, carnival masks and costumes as well as ceramic souvenirs, handmade ornaments made of wood, flax, wicker, straw, and leather. Customers can taste Belarusian cuisine, mulled wine, hot chocolate with sweets and fragrant pastry.

When: 12 December 2015 – 15 January 2016
Where: outdoor area near the Sports Palace, Oktyabrskaya Square, Minsk

Father Frost Among Friends Fair

Father Frost Among Friends FairThe festivities will unfold in the historical Upper Town part of Minsk, which became the creative center of the Belarusian capital in the last few years. It is the place where festivals take place as well as jazz contests, historical reenactments, and handicraft fairs. During the New Year holidays visitors will be able to come to the interactive performance Father Frost to talk to the key figure of New Year festivities in real time. Visitors are invited to attend the magnificent 3D mapping show and a theatrical performance that will feature Father Frost and the Snow Maiden, the witch Baba Yaga, demons, bears, and other forest folks. Guests will be treated to the traditional Belarusian cuisine and mulled wine with fresh pastry.

When: 24 December 2015 — 7 January 2016
Where: Upper Town, Minsk

Handicraft Fair Mlyn

Handicraft Fair MlynDuring the festive period Belarus’ largest handicraft fair will gather over 500 craftsmen, designers, artists, and needlework specialists who will present their ideas in various genres and techniques of arts and crafts. They will be able to share their secrets with novices during master classes. Traditionally the fair enjoys great popularity since the products on offer are often unique and boast particularly elegant workmanship. The fair will offer goods for arts and needlework, exclusive home decorations and also New Year gifts such as designer clothes and accessories, souvenirs and postcards.

When: 18 – 20 December
Where: national expo center BelExpo, Minsk

New Year Central Fashion Market

New Year Central Fashion MarketThe first multibrand project of Belarusian designer clothes and accessories invites you to visit a one-day fair combined with a clearance sale that will offer original collections from over 80 young couturiers. The participants include Marina Davydova, NAVY, Tikota Unique, ton-in-ton, as well as the successful brands 11KSTUDIO, eLKey My Happy Dress. The leading designers will present seasonal collections of casual wear and evening wear, will reveal the fashion trends, and will help choose accessories for your gowns. Visitors will be able to buy new products, gifts and souvenirs, to learn about the latest and greatest in the Belarusian fashion industry, and to get useful advice from fashion designers.

When: 20 December
Where: food court Food Republic, Minsk

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