Words, books, white tower

12th Day of Belarusian writing held in Kamenets, small town near Belovezhskaya Pushcha
The sacred names of Euphrosinia Polotskaya, Cyril of Turov and Frantsysk Skaryna — all those who founded our Belarusian written language — made a selfless spiritual service. This contribution is eternal and, this year, it was being celebrated by the twelfth Belarusian Written Language Day — one of the most popular holidays in Belarus.

Various cities compete for the right to host this event and, this year, the ancient town of Kamenets has been awarded the honour. One of the most renowned Belarusian monuments — Belaya Vezha (White Tower) — is located there. On September 4th, publishers, writers, political figures, scientists, artistes, diplomats and, naturally, readers, descended on the town. By tradition, two spiritual leaders joined the festival — one religious and one secular; members of the Road to Sacred Objects Research centre were also attending. Residents of the Minsk and Brest oblasts lighted candles from the Holy Fire — brought from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and meetings in schools and Palaces of Culture were also held.

Words glorifying spiritual culture should resound everywhere — in prayer, song and poetry: "Books are the most important focus of the festival," said the First Deputy Minister of Information, Lilia Ananich. "Our publishers have much to be proud of!" At the Art of a Book 2nd International Contest, recently held in Moscow, our Belarusian editions won five awards including a First degree Diploma. The Mastatskaya Litaratura publishing house was given a Victory award and the Towns and Villages of Belarus Encyclopaedia (from the Belarusian Encyclopaedia publishing house) won a Second Degree Diploma — as did the Olympic country of Belarus collection of photographs (from the House of Press Public Press Centre). Visitors were able to meet authors and acquire outstanding editions by Belarusian publishers. It was clear to see that the traditions of the Great Enlighteners continue.

Lidia Petrova
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