International Festival of Orthodox Youth Hodegetria gathers Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians near Vitebsk

International Festival of Orthodox Youth Hodegetria gathers Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians near Vitebsk

Theatrical performances, interactive games, bubbles shows and even a fire show. The Orthodox Youth Festival "Hodegetria" gathered near Vitebsk representatives of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. The forum included performances of creative groups, master classes, including clay modeling, drawing and playing the guitar.

The Orthodox Youth Camp "Hodegetria" brought together about 300 Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians. Guiding Mother of God was selected as Patron Saint of the Festival.

Anastasia Pakhomova, participant of the International Festival of Orthodox "Hodegetria" (Russia):
It helps develop spiritually and connect our nations - Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. It brings joy when we take part in this festival.

Anastasia Dorozhkina (Belarus):
The atmosphere is friendly. And I think that it really helps to unite the peoples and make friends.

Vyacheslav Mozgovoi (Ukraine):
One common thread is the Lord. It is he who gathered us all at this festival. Regardless of countries and cities we come to this place every year.

There are no boundaries in the Orthodox camp. Everyone are children of God and all are young regardless of age because soul unites them all.

Sergei Grebennikov, chairman of the jury of the Orthodox Song (Russia):
Boundaries are created by man. This is not God. Of course, if we are Christians, we are united under the Christ. This is love, faith, and friendship. The camp is called "Friendship". And here I can feel this unity for real.

The Orthodox song contest (which is the main event of the festival program) gathered about a hundred artists. The jury selected the best. On Monday evening, they performed at a gala concert in the Summer Amphitheatre, which usually hosts Vitebsk Slavonic Bazaar festival.

The festival will end with a religious procession. It will begin on August 5 in Vitebsk, and finished August 9 in Smolensk. After that, the pilgrims will take part in the celebration in honor of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God "Hodegetria".