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Press releases

10 Dec 2012

New Year and Christmas in Belarus


New Year vacations are an excellent time for a trip to Belarus. Here you will enjoy unusual festivities, unique Christmas rituals, and merry entertainment in estates of fairy-tale characters. And definitely you will get a real kind of winter with snow, frost, and active sports in ski centers.

Christmas balls in Belarus

Christmas balls in Mir Castle
A famous castle in Belarus welcomes visitors for genuine balls in 17th century interiors.
The Portrait Hall will host a Viennese ball on 4 January. It will offer live instrumental music and Neapolitan tunes, performances by opera divas, with guests entertained with secular games, waltz, and polonaise…
The Ivory Hall will open a secular retrosalon on 5 January similar to the ones arranged by owners of the castle – the Princes Svyatopolk-Mirskys – at the beginning of the 20th century. The salon will feature all the aspects of that time – silent movies, swing, jazz…
A ball for little ladies and gentlemen invites guests on 6 January. Specifically for kids aged 6-14 the Ivory House will host Christmas adventures with congratulations from Grandfather Frost and Snow Maiden.
When: 4, 5, 6 January
Where: Mir Castle, Grodno Oblast

Christmas Phantasies by the Grand Opera and Ballet Theater in Nesvizh
The Theater Hall of the famous palace – a residence of the Princes Radziwills — will host a festive concert by Belarusian opera stars. Soloists of the National Academic Grand Opera and Ballet Theater of the Republic of Belarus will perform fragments of the internationally recognized masterpieces and ancient romance songs.
When: 4 January
Where: Nesvizh Palace, Minsk Oblast

Festive evening in a princely palace
Guests of the palace ensemble in Nesvizh will dive into the environment of the 18th century. They will be met by “Prince” Michal Kazimierz Rybenko Radziwill and his “wife” —famous poetess and playwright Franciszka Urszula Radziwill, who will tell the guests about the life of the famous European dynasty.
When: 5 January
Where: Nesvizh Palace, Minsk Oblast

Grand New Year Ball in Grand Theater
The ball has already become a tradition of Belarus’ primary opera theater. It will be opened by a magnificent polonaise to continue with an outstanding dancing and music program. Evening dresses for ladies, dinner jackets or dress coats for gentlemen, carnival costumes are a must.
When: 13 January
Where: The National Academic Grand Opera and Ballet Theater of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk

Unique folk rituals in Belarus

Folk game Tereshka’s Wedding
This 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
Celebrating 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
In 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

Estates of Grandfather Frost and other New Year characters

Estate of the Belarusian Grandfather Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Belarus’ chief Grandfather Frost lives in the most ancient forest of Europe – Belovezhskaya Pushcha. His residence is open to visitors all the year round. Guests are welcomed by Grandfather Frost, Snow Maiden, fairy-tale characters and animator guides, who take the guests on a tour of the premises – an apiary with magic honey, wind mills, which crush all the bad things… The residence of the Belarusian Grandfather Frost is home to the highest natural New Year tree in Europe (over 40 meters). For Christmas celebrations the 120-year-old beauty is embellished by fairy lights of over 5,000 bulbs.
Address: The village of Kamenyuki, Kamenets District, Brest Oblast
Contacts: +375 1631 56398

Estate of Zyuzya Poozyorsky in Postavy District
The folklore and myths complex Ozerki in Postavy District is home to Zyuzya Poozyorsky, “the great grandfather” of the Grandfather Frost. Ancient Belarusians used to believe in the god of winter named Zyuzya, who looked like an old man with a long white beard, walking around barefooted and bareheaded and controlling frost and blizzards. In the estate Zyuzya and his helpers offer entertainment, a story about forgotten traditions and beliefs of the ancestors, magic transformations and wish-granting. You can also see a museum of New Year trees there to learn where the tradition to embellish a tree on the eve of Christmas and New Year came from, what toys were fashionable in the late 19th century – the middle of the 20th century, what cards residents of Belarus used to congratulate each other with in days of old.
Address: 5A Naberezhnaya Street, the town of Postavy, Vitebsk Oblast
Contacts: +375 2155 42203, +375 2155 42777, +375 29 7322777

Estate of Grandfather Zimnik in Nalibokskaya Pushcha
On Christmas holidays the estate is opened by Grandfather Zimnik of Naliboki and Lady Blizzard as well as other fairy-tale characters – Mikhailo Potapych, Baba Yaga and her retinue. At first the guests become involved in a captivating adventure in a fairy-tale forest: they visit a bear’s hut, the hut of Baba Yaga and a hideout of the forest spirit named Leshy. After that the landlord himself shows off his magic skills. Performances in the open air and round dances are held in the forest every day. The estate is open on 19-30 December, 2-15 January.
Address: Nalibokskaya Pushcha, the village of Zaleiki, Ivye District, Grodno Oblast

Estate of chief Grandfather Frost of Rudobelka land
During winter holidays from 22 December through 14 January guests are welcomed to a theatrical performance featuring Grandfather Frost, Snow Maiden, and other characters from fairy-tales and cartoons. Together with the New Year wizard you can hug the Oak of Wishes, try Grandfather Frost’s cuisine: a severe jelly with fir tree sauce, steamed snowflakes, mint icicles in snowflakes…
Address: The cultural entertainment complex Bubnovka, Oktyabrsky District, Gomel Oblast
Contacts: +375 29 3441372, +375 29 1681400

Residence of Minsk Grandfather Frost
The home of Minsk Grandfather Frost is opened in the Central Children’s Park named after Gorky from 21 December till 7 January. The New Year character and his reliable helpers await young guests, asking them about their studies, offering games and riddles, congratulating on holidays.
Address: Metro station Ploshchad Pobedy, 2 Frunze Street, Minsk
Contacts: +375 17 2944991

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