Silk and spices

The Silk and Spices Festival is an annual festival held in Bukhara, a city on the Great Silk Road. Thousands of years ago, caravans heading from China to Europe passed through the high mountains and barren deserts, loaded with silks and spices. These caravans would stop at blooming oases, where they could rest and meet with masters of pottery, embroidery, minting, carpet weaving, and more. Recently, Uzbektourism, the City of Bukhara, and the Khunarmand Association of Craftsmen organized the first Silk and Spices Festival. The goal was to revive the cultural legacy of the Silk Road, and to display the rich traditions of local masters. The festival was so popular that the festival became an annual attraction, growing every year. Traditionally, the festival is held over a couple days at the end of May and beginning of June.

During the several days of the Silk and Spices Festival there are fairs where visitors can buy handicrafts, souvenirs, and silk scarves. Master classes from artisans in various fields are held in historical buildings and monuments, and sporting events draw large crowds. The festival also hosts conferences dedicated to the history and culture of Uzbekistan, and also to preserving these traditions and practices. Traditionally, the closing ceremony of the Silk and Spices Festival is held in the Poi-Kalyan Architectural Ensemble, and features traditional Uzbek folk music.

Shashmaqom

Shashmaqam is a Central Asian musical genre (typical of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) which may have developed in the city of Bukhara. Shashmaqam means the six Maqams (modes) in the Persian language, dastgah being the name for Persian modes, and maqams being the name for modes more generally.

It is a refined sort of music, with lyrics derived from Sufi poems about divine love. The instruments of shashmaqam provide an austere accompaniment to the voices. They consist, at most concerts, of a pair of long-necked lutes, the dayra, or frame drum, which, with its jingles, is very much like a tambourine, and the sato, or bowed tanbour, which vaguely resembles a bass fiddle.

In the first half of the 20th century in Uzbekistan, Abdul Rauf Fitrad, member of the Jadid, was particularly interested in shashmaqam, the traditional music of the Court. In 1927, he wrote a book called Ozbek klasik Muzikasi va uning Tarikhi (Uzbek classical music and its history), in which he presented shashmaqam as a grand musical tradition of the Uzbek people. In the 1930s, during the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin, Uzbek shashmaqam was seen as an echo of the feudal ruling class and as a kind of music that promoted cultural progress toward adoption of European-style harmony. Finally, in 1951, a decree from the president of the Uzbekistan Union of Composers, reaffirmed by the committee of Uzbekistan, suppressed the maqam and the development of the musical practice.

The number of such festivals is increasing from current year to rebuilding these halls.

Sharq taronalari

Sharq Taronalari is one of the largest musical and cultural festivals in Central Asia. Held every two years in Samarkand’s Registan Square since 1997, this festival brings together the most talented singers, dancers, and musicians to celebrate art from around the world. Sharq Taronalari is recognized in the UNESCO International Cultural Events list, and is a popular event for those looking to learn more about Uzbekistan and its heritage.

Registan is the jewel of Amir Timur’s capital, the center of a city that attracted the brightest minds of the time. Scientists, artists, architects and poets each contributed to this legendary city, making it one of the main stops on the Silk Road and a center of learning in Asia.

Centuries later, Samarkand has once again become the center of world culture, with performers representing their home nations and cultures at this international festival. Sharq Taronalari (“melodies of the east”) is held on an open-air stage equipped with the latest in lighting and sound, surrounded by medieval monuments. Aside from performances, there are also exhibitions and conferences, held for the participants, guests, and media.

Make sure to visit the exhibitions of traditional Uzbek clothing and musical instruments, and stay for the gala-concert at the end of the festival, where nominees and winners all perform. Sharq Taronalari lasts a whole week, which means there is plenty of time to explore the whole festival. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience Registan in a whole new way, and to turn your trip to Uzbekistan into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Boysun bahori

The name of the Boysun (Baysun) Bahori Festival comes from a small city in southern Uzbekistan. Boysun looks like an average village nestled in the Baisuntau Mountains, but the main difference is that those who live in Boysun have preserved their way of life and traditions and live the same way that they have lived for thousands of years, since the pre-lslamic days.

The Boysun Bahori Festival is a celebration of this unique culture. In the era of globalization, these traditions are being lost, and can only be found in small villages far from large cities. The goal of this festival is to gather and preserve these traditions, not only in Boysun, not only in Uzbekistan, but around the world.

In 2001, UNESCO named the culture of Boysun a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage, and in 2002, the first Boysun Bahori Festival was held. Originally, the festival was held every year.

The area around Boysun is especially pretty in the spring, when the surrounding mountains are covered in green foliage and flowering meadows, and for this reason the Boysun Bahori (Boysun Spring) Festival is held in the spring. A large yurt camp is set up near the mountains, and includes workshops and stages, where folk ensembles can perform. There are also arenas for traditional sports, including kurash (wrestling), kupkari (horse game), and other competitions. A special place is given to darboz, or tightrope walking, where acrobats combine circus pageantry with theater.

Visitors at Boysun Bahori can also meet with masters of local crafts and works, as well as with master chefs who are experts in making traditional Uzbek dishes. Take some extra time to explore the mountains around Boysun, a unique corner among popular destinations in Uzbekistan.

If you want to get to know the unparalleled culture of Boysun and other regions of Uzbekistan in one place, then the Boysun Bahori Festival is the best place to be. You can visit to Boysub Bahori festival on spring.

The magic of dance

Khiva will hold international festival “The Magic of Dance”. Uniqueness and beauty of national dances will be demonstrated in Ichan-Qala complex, the open-air museum.

Popular local and foreign dance groups will take part in the festival. Guests will enjoy the program that includes master-classes, photo-exhibition “Uzbekistan Dance Art History”, exhibition works of craftsmen, puppet theater performances, shows of national dressing, festival of national dishes and games.

Atlas bayrami

Since popularization and development of traditional crafts are significant for the entire Central Asian region, the festival has expanded its geographical borders: this time it includes participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Guests of the festival will have an opportunity to learn more about great diversity of traditions, styles, designs, techniques and ideas of the region.

Colorful program of the third festival will start with practical training for young craftsmen on traditional weaving, felt art, fashion design using traditional textile as well as financial knowledge and entrepreneurship in the field of craftsmanship. Guests will enjoy exhibitions and fairs of traditional textile, catwalk, outdoor merrymaking with performances by folklore groups and darboz rope-walkers, contest of plov “Devzira”, traditional wrestling “Kurash” and puppet shows.

Navruz sounds

 The festival has been held in Uzbekistan since 1996, and the number of children visiting it is growing every year. Since 2015 students from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan regularly participate in the festival. This year, the number of children from 3 to 15 years from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan exceeded 2,000 and  35 teams took part in the final stage.

At a press conference and award ceremony  the coordinator of the event professor Feruza Abdurahimova said that the main purpose of the “Navruz Sounds” was an educational festival, the purpose of which is to create and care for children’s and youth national music.

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