There is a unique nature in Belarus. The oldest forest in Europe is situated in Belarus (the National Park of Belavezhskaya Puscha). 60 % of the Aquatic-worbler population (Acrocephalus-paludicola) is in Belarus more info
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|| The ‘Kalyady Tsars’ rite attract particular experts’ attention
This time country homestays open their doors to hundreds of tourists, showed their houses, described the services offered, attractions around their B&Bs and of course offered something special to taste. The action involved local tourism administration, craftsmen, folklore groups. more info
The term ‘quest’ is now familiar to homestay owners
In the beginning of May Vidomlya rural settlement hosted an unusual training . The participants got acquainted with an innovative and quiet popular tourist product – questing. Quests are a sort of educational and informative getting one's bearings. After theoretical introduction training participants implemented their knowledge on practical experience: while walking around Vidomlya they defined the key points for a quest, tips and hints, directions. One can say that at the end of the day Vidomlya dwellers already had the first version of quest. more info
The ‘Kalyady Tsars’ rite attract particular experts’ attention
Once a year on the 13th of January village of Semezhevo (Kopyl district, Minsk oblast) gathers locals and visitors for a spectacular Christmas rite – “Kalyady Tsars”. This festive event comprises the traditional elements of Belarusian Christmas and New Year carnival but with its own special flavor. Seven young men, chosen as the 'Kalyady Tsars', dress in white shirts and trousers along with the traditional Semezhava waistbands and geometrical ornament. The chest of each man is crisscrossed by red straps. They wear black boots and high paper hats with multicolor paper ribbons. All 'tsars' are armed with 'sabres' and each of them has his own name: ‘Tsar Maximilian’, ‘Tsar Mamai’ etc. The characters include a doctor, a musician and a drummer. During the drama, ‘tsars’ visit houses to give comic performances and receive good wishes and awards. The performance features a meeting and a fight of the ‘tsars'. The torchlight procession continues into the night. After the performance, the tsars express best wishes to their hosts and receive awards. Finally, all the participants gather at one table for a late-night celebration of traditional Christmas dishes and the gifts received during the evening. The rite is exclusive to this particular village and recognition of its uniqueness extends beyond Belarus to the international community. In 2009 the Kalyady Tsars was included in UNESCO Intangible Heritage List.
This year the rite was supplemented with the expert meeting organized by the Belarusian Association “Country Escape” together with the Ministry of culture of Belarus, Ministry of sports and tourism, UNESCO Committee in Belarus and Kopyl district executive committee. The meeting under the name “Tourism as a means of safeguarding of Belarusian Intangible heritage” raised the question of cooperation between culture and tourism sector. It was a first attempt to organize a dialog between representatives of both sides aiming to find some common approaches towards using intangible heritage elements in tourism. The meeting and presentation of ‘Kalyady Tsars’ rite were held by the Belarusian Association “Country Escape” in term of the project ‘Community-based tourism for conservation, partnership and development of rural territories’ supported by the U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program. Moreover the Association has published the picturesque brochure dedicated to spiritual heritage of the Belarusian village containing descriptions and photos of seven elements of intangible heritage (rites and traditional crafts) visited during expeditions by representatives of the Association.