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Belarus' Alexandria celebrates Kupalle

"Alexandria Gathers Friends" festival will be held today in the evening. We are talking not about the Egyptian Alexandria, founded by the Alexander the Great and which was the center of the culture of the Greeks but Belarusian Alexandria village - a sample of agricultural enterprises and the center of the celebration of Kupalle, the most ancient national holiday dedicated to sun and flourishing land. The very Alexandria (small homeland of the Belarus President) has also flourished in recent years and the festival is blooming. More and more people come to the bank of the Dnieper River from around the world. This time, more than one hundred thousand visitors are expected. Yulia Beshanova reports.

Alexandria meets guests with bread and circuses. Shopping and entertainment is guaranteed, with Belarusian national flavor.

Vasil Veremyev, holiday guest:
This is a wonderful holiday. Alexandria is gathering friends , and friends is the main thing in our lives.

Alexandria not only gathers friends, but also brings people together. At the International Street in the "city of friendship" we see Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, and guests from the Baltic countries. Kupalle is a common holiday.

Boris Svetlov, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Belarus:
This holiday is not only Belarusian, this is a celebration of all Slavs.I saw Lithuanians, Latvians, Poles, and even Germans. All those who are interested in authentic culture find an answer to their needs.

Inna Vajkule, holiday guest (Latvia):
I do basket weaving and the art unites Belarusians, Lithuanians, Latvians, and everyone on this beautiful holiday.

Liu, holiday guest (China):
Belarus is a very beautiful country.

The competition "The Lord of the village" is taking place in an atmosphere of healthy competition. Young families are competing in cooking and singing.

Irina Kulko:
We are the Kulko family - we are friendly and cheerful. We have three children. We spent much time preparing for this competition, and of course we want to win.

Today in Alexandria everyone could become Francysk Skaryna or Spiridon Sobol. Such "Printing House" has not analogues in the former Soviet Union.

Dmitry Likhodedov, master:
We knead paper solution until it becomes smooth. Then we move the solution to the felt sheet. And we press on it in order to get rid of excess moisture.

Svetlana Tsurkunova, head of the Gorki District Consumer Society:
Everything is fresh and hot. Sausages, chicken, pork, wings and fries.

For the first time Alexandria hosted an international fishing competition, which resulted in this huge fish soup pot. Extraordinary fragrance!

On Kupalle, people in Alexandria try to find "fern flower", which is believed to bring happiness. This time this will be a quest game. Participants must visit several thematic areas and perform special tasks.

As soon as it gets dark, Kupala bonfires will appear on the banks of the Dnieper River, with people traditionally jumping through the fire and dancing. According to ancient tradition, girls float wreaths on the water - for good luck and in looking for Mr Right.

Organizers of the festival decided to surprise with scale. First, Yak aircraft showed their air mastery and then a large variety and circus show began. Artists from seven countries showed Kupala traditions of different peoples through circus arts, choreography and music.

Yulia Beshanova, political commentator:
The President of Belarus is expected to arrive at the festival in Alexandria. Alexander Lukashenko visits it every year. The first day will finish with the international festival of fireworks accompanied by a laser show. This will be the first time in Belarus. Pyrotechnics teams from Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan will show their best performances! Alexandria will celebrate through the night!

Belarus' Alexandria celebrates Kupalle