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Press releases

6 Dec 2013

Christmas and New Year in Belarus

Christmas and New Year in BelarusWinter vacations in Belarus are a good time for leisure, recreation, travels, and unforgettable experiences.

In Belarus you will enjoy joyous New Year celebrations, unique Christmas rites, and certainly a true winter with snow and active sports.

During the holiday season in Belarus you can stay in sanatoriums, farm tourism estates or alpine skiing resorts, visit ancient palaces and castles, unique natural reserves, ethnographic museums and countryside homes of New Year fairy-tale characters, for instance, the estate of (Father Frost) in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Christmas tree, Oktyabrskaya Square, MinskNew Year celebrations in Belarus begin in late December (25 December is the date of the Catholic Christmas) and last till mid-January (7 January is the Orthodox Christmas, 14 January is the Old New Year).

In Minsk and other cities and towns of Belarus you will be able to see folk festivals, processions of Father Frosts and Snow Maidens. Ice rinks will be open as well as fairs and trade shows... On the New Year’s night the central squares of towns and cities will be the venues for magnificent celebrations featuring concerts and fireworks.

Unique folk rites take place in Belarus at Christmas time. They include the UNESCO World Heritage List’s rite Christmas Tsars, Belarus’ intangible legacy – Tereshka’s Wedding, Pulling the Kolyada Up the Oak…

Christmas and New Year balls in Belarus

New Year Fairy Tale in Nesvizh

New Year Fairy Tale in NesvizhIn early January visitors to Nesvizh Castle will be invited to dive into the atmosphere of old times and New Year wonders. You will enjoy a warm welcome of the Radziwills, captivating musical accompaniment, and New Year gifts. Besides, on 12 December the Nesvizh museum will open an exhibition featuring a unique museum acquisition — the Radziwill bedroom suite. This fabulous set of furniture consists of 15 items made for Prince Radziwill in the 19th century in Louis XVI style.

When: 2-12 January (7 January – day off)
Where: Nesvizh Castle (the Nesvizh museum)

Mir Ball

Mir BallThe magnificent residence of Dukes Sviatopolk-Mirskys invites you to celebrate the Christmas eve in the atmosphere of the 17th century. According to a tradition the Portrait Hall will host a reception for gentlemen and ladies in elegant attire matching the fashion trends of the time. The guests will enjoy live instrumental music, exchange of civilities, old table and outdoor games…

When: 3 January
Where: Mir Castle, Grodno Oblast
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Retro Salon in Mir Castle

Retro Salon of the early 20th centuryA retro salon of the early 20th century will welcome jazz fans on 4 January. The program of the event will feature all the attributes of the unforgettable era: dances to the accompaniment of a jazz band, photo shoot in the interior of the 1920s-1930s, and viewing silent movies. A nice bonus will be a night tour of the grand halls of the Castle, and a contest for the most stylish and elegant couple of the evening.

When: 4 January
Where: Mir Castle, Grodno Oblast
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Children's Christmas Ball in Mir Castle

Children's Christmas Ball in Mir CastleChristmas ball for young ladies and gentlemen 6-13 years old will take place in Dining Hut. The Princess, the hostess of the castle, and the ladies of high society will teach children to dance. Children will help the son of the Princess to defeat the evil sorceress. Cinderella and Snow White will teach the guests to play games that were popular in the 18-19th centuries.

When: 5 January
Where: Mir Castle, Grodno Oblast
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New Year’s Eve Ball in Bolshoi Theater

New Year’s Eve Ball in Bolshoi TheaterThe Bolshoi Theater of Belarus invites everyone to experience the atmosphere of gorgeous balls of the 19th century with their strict dress-code and high-society manners. Two months prior to the ball the theater ran a dance course to help the future participants to get ready for the event, drill dances such as polonaise, waltz, polka, country dance, galop, mazurka waltz…

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

New Year shows, evenings and concerts

New Year Dance Show Wonderland

New Year Dance Show WonderlandThe grand festival will bring together theater, circus, music and dance. The project will feature professional musicians and actors: the show-ballet Feyeria, the show-ballet Jazz-Hand, circus show Kresiva… The audience will be treated to an array of bright performances, lively dances and a laser show.

When: 19 December
Where: Minsk Concert Hall

Country’s Main New Year Children’s Party 

Country’s Main New Year Children’s PartyBelarus’ main New Year children’s party will traditionally be held in the Big Hall of the Minsk Palace of the Republic. The theatrical show, As If By Magic, By New Year’s Wish, will feature fairytale characters such as Yemelya and Baba Yaga as well as the main New Year’s characters – Father Frost and Snow Maiden, who will wish the children Happy New Year and give them many sweet gifts…

When: 21 December 2013 – 6 January 2014
Where: Big Hall of the Palace of the Republic, Minsk
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Once Upon a Time in the Snow Kingdom

Once Upon a Time in the Snow KingdomThe New Year musical Once Upon a Time in the Snow Kingdom will be full of breathtaking adventures and will feature a wonderful set design and impressive costumes. The New Year’s sequel is a spin-off of the famous fairytale The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. No doubt the viewers will absolutely enjoy the show.

 When: 23-27 December 2013 – 6 January 2014
 Where: Youth Variety Theater, Minsk

Christmas in My Heart Concert

Christmas in My Heart ConcertOn the Christmas Eve local residents and tourists will have an opportunity to enjoy the music by the great classical composers: Bach, Caccini, Albinoni, Strauss, Vivaldi, and others. The concert will feature Belarus’ best singers and musicians: the Classic Jazz Trio band, the leading soloists of the Bolshoi Theater Yelena Shvedova, Natalya Akinina, and Andrei Morozov, and the boys’ choir conducted by Vladimir Glushakov.

 When: 24 December
 Where: Concert Hall Upper Town, Minsk

New Year Parade of Father Frosts and Snow Maidens

New Year Parade of Father Frosts and Snow MaidensFather Frosts and Snow Maidens, the main characters of the upcoming New Year celebrations, will participate in joyful and colorful parades that will be held in the streets of Minsk and other Belarusian cities several days before the New Year. The events will feature fascinating contests, mini-concerts and other surprises with participation of fairytale characters. The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Oktyabrskaya Square will be the central event of the celebrations.

 When: 25 December
 Where:  Independence Avenue, Oktyabrskaya Square, Minsk
Belarusian oblast centers

New Year Tale Ice Show

New Year Tale Ice ShowThe first Belarusian music and theatrical ice show will bring together figure skaters of the Belarusian national team, winners and runners-up of international contests and the Belarusian championship along with acrobats, magicians and masters of fire shows. The plot of the tale focuses on the centuries-old theme of parent-child relationships. Taking part in the project are famous Belarusian composers such as Eduard Khanok, Oleg Yeliseyenkov and Andrei Ankudinov and others.

When: 25, 26, 28 December
Where: Minsk Arena

1st International Music And Theatrical Festival Maslenikov’s Kolyady

1st International Music And Theatrical Festival Maslenikov’s KolyadyThe international fest will be held as part of the campaign “Mogilev: CIS and Belarus’ Capital of Culture 2013” and will be timed to the 100th anniversary of the birth of famous artist Pavel Maslenikov. On the Christmas eve the forum will bring together bathleika theaters from different countries…

When: 19 December – January 2014
Where: Mogilev
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Christmas folk rituals

Kolyady Folk Rite

Kolyady Folk RiteThe Belarusian State Museum of Vernacular Architecture and Ethnic Heritage in Strochitsy invites to take part in Kolyady, one of the most interesting Belarusian rites. According to the tradition, on the eve of Epiphany people walked around the neighborhood with masks on their faces, sang carols and staged amusing performances for hosts in exchange for small gifts. The bear and the goat, symbols of fertility and family well-being, were the major characters during Kolyady parades.

When: 15 December - 20 January
Where: Belarusian State Museum of Vernacular Architecture and Ethnic Heritage, Minsk District

Folk game Tereshka’s Wedding

Folk game Tereshka’s WeddingThis ancient folk ritual is an intangible value of Belarus. In days of old the merry caroling game was held on the eve of Christmas. For one evening every young man became a Tereshka and was free to choose a wife. Once it was done, all the couples would commit a joke marriage with songs, dances, accordion music, and merry games. The ritual has been preserved in the village of Anoshki, Lepel District that welcomes guests every year.

When: 6 January
Where: The village of Anoshki, Lepel District, Vitebsk Oblast

Folk ritual Kolyady (Christmas) Tsars

Folk ritual Kolyady (Christmas) TsarsCelebrating the old New Year, the Belarusian village of Semezhevo performs a unique ritual Kolyady Tsars, which fame is now international. It is part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. A procession of “tsars” inspired by soldiers of the Russian Empire army would visit homes of the locals to perform the drama Tsar Maximilian.

When: 13 January
Where: The village of Semezhevo, Kopyl District, Minsk Oblast

Folk ritual Pull the Kolyada Up the Oak

Folk ritual Pull the Kolyada Up the OakIn days of old in many villages across Belarus the Christmas festivities ended with a merry ritual Pull the Kolyada Up the Oak. It has been preserved in the village of Noviny, Berezina District and has been inscribed into the State Historical and Cultural Legacy List. On 21 January a wheel or a sheave – the so-called Kolyada – would be pulled up an oak or any old tree (a lime tree, a willow). The Belarusians believed that the ritual heralds a good harvest, luck and happiness for the entire next year.

When: 21 January
Where: The village of Noviny, Berezina District, Minsk Oblast

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