Let's meet spring in Belarus
Snowdrops have already bloomed in the southern regions, but the gentle breeze hints that it won’t be long to wait for real heat
Tie ribbons to twigsAccording to the ancient Belarusian tradition, one need to thoroughly trample the land, warm it up and wake it up in order for spring to come not only on the calendar, but also on the streets. It is best to do this at numerous folk festivals with round dances and fun games. For example, in Strochitsy, Vyazynka or Dudutki.
Girls in folk costumes go out to the high hills and call spring with ritual songs, older housewives bake cookies in the form of larks, and children tie coloured ribbons on trees. In addition, they choose the Vesnyanka girl from all the ladies in the round dance, who is carried around the field on a harrow and thereby asks nature to be favourable to the future sowing season.
Organise a theatre marathonVisit Mogilev for cultural impressions. The 16th International Youth Theatre Forum ‘Mart.kontakt’ will be held here from March 20th to March 27th. Performances will be presented by teams from Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and Bulgaria. The festival playbill features timeless classics and modern dramaturgy. The main platform of the forum is the Mogilev Drama Theatre, which is celebrating its 135th anniversary this year.
The building impresses with the richness of the interiors: a two-ton chandelier with three hundred light bulbs, balconies with wooden carvings and the lower boxes. The governor’s box has also been preserved, where Emperor Nicholas II of Russia and his family watched performances. Rachmaninoff and Chaliapin once performed on the stage of this drama theatre.
Nest with storksA blue-eyed country is the land under the white wings. The stork is considered one of the unofficial symbols of the country along with the bison and cornflower. Therefore, the locals always wait for the arrival of this bird with special trepidation. There are villages in the Brest Region where feathered families build nests literally on every power line pole. They even build special platforms for them.
By the way, the largest black stork population in the world lives on the territory of the Srednyaya Pripyat nature reserve. This spectacular bird, unlike its white counterpart, nests away from people, so it’s hard to find it.
Admire the flow of the riversWhen the wayward Pripyat River overflows its banks, Polesie turns into a real sea: the end and edge of the water cannot be seen for many kilometres. And this is not a natural disaster, but an order established thousands of years ago. Even Herodotus wrote that supposedly there is a sea in these parts. The ancient Greek could not even imagine that we have such powerful rivers.
The Poleshuks themselves have long learned to tame Pripyat River — they build high bridges, and everyone has a boat in their house. Boat trips (from all-inclusive cruises to kayaking), birdwatching and, of course, fishing are offered four tourists in the spring. We recommend that the most desperate travellers take a tour to the unique village of Kudrichi, which is located in the very depths of the Polesian swamps. One can only get here by boat.
Enjoy the scents of flowersThe first flowers — galanthus and primrose — are blooming in the Brest flowerbeds. The daffodils are about to open their buds. Environmentalists believe that there is nothing surprising in this, given the mild weather in the Brest Region in February.
If you want to see the awakening nature in all its glory, you should visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The relic forest is especially good not only for flora, but also for fauna at this time of the year. Therefore, while walking or cycling, you can unexpectedly meet local fluffy inhabitants. On some routes, observation towers were equipped, from which a view of grazing bison, deer, wild boars, foxes, and cranes opens. In addition, the Pushcha houses a museum of nature and archaeological expositions.
By Sofia Arsenyeva