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Belarus President takes part in Kupalle celebration in Alexandria

This week marked 135 years since the birth of Ivan Lutsevich, who entered the Belarusian and world literature under the pseudonym Yanka Kupala, because he was born on the same mysterious night when all the girls weave wreaths and search for a magic fern flower.

This ancient and very beautiful tradition was revived on the picturesque bank of the Dnieper. Every year the village of Alexandria, the home of the Belarusian President, gathers friends on this day.

Actually, wreaths on this day are not just for fortune telling. They were used to protect the house, weaved at dawn from different grasses, and then hung over the front door so that the interior could not get hurt.

By the way, herbs collected on the Kupala night have magic powers.

Irina Kaminskaya:
When bones hurt, you can use this grass in the bath. When a young man marries, this helps his man's strength and leads to happy family life. And this man will always be a good family man.

Holiday in Alexandria is keeping up with the times. Search for fern flower this year was in the format of a youth quest.

Rides, dances, songs, and aromas of favorite dishes. Contests and gifts. Handmade souvenirs are of special value. And also master classes.

You can learn how to weave wreaths here. But you can master any other craft. Looms was the job of men in the old days. Then women were allowed to use them too. This is how Belarus became famous for its hand-made towels and sheets. Simple and elegant linen with Belarusian ornaments is a popular souvenir nowadays.

Not just thousands, but hundreds of thousands of guests gathered on the banks of the Dnieper. And every year Alexandria gathers more and more friends.

Guests of the holiday:
My military destiny led me to the Far East, to the city of Vladivostok. I am from Belarus. We come here today and we are very satisfied. My heart sings with happiness because I am in my native land. I really miss Belarus. I love it very much, it is very beautiful. Very kind people. We love the holiday very much!

Paratroopers fly. Of course, it’s interesting, fun, very cheerful! This year we really like it.

Very nice, especially those handmade items... Everything just bewitches.

Tourists come from all over Belarus and from neighboring countries. Here are guests from Lithuania. They also have such holidays since traditions are similar. Finally they got to Alexandria to see how people spend this special night in Belarus.

 Александр Лукашенко принял участие в праздновании Купалья в Александрии

Wilma Shadukenia:
We brought pottery. We are potters with my husband. We make jugs and small souvenirs just for ourselves and a little bit for sale.

The sky over Alexandria was painted red and green, which are the colors of Belarus' flag. Of course, not only modern technologies but also traditional attributes from Belarus were displayed.

By tradition, a gala concert opened in the evening.

The Belarus President takes part in the celebration every year. Every time Alexander Lukashenko confesses: here, in his native land, he can really have a rest. Many other fellow countrymen know what it is to come home. Including those who managed to achieve success in life.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
I am sure that if a wealthy person who was born in a small village and has not forgotten it does something for his native land, our country will be blooming in three-five years. Therefore, my call today from my small homeland to all those who have not forgotten their small homeland: let's do something we can do for these villages, for these rivers, for small towns. It's now time for these small towns and unpromising villages - we just have to save them. We must make them comfortable for the lives of our people, our children, our grandchildren. And wherever our life takes us, there is still our native land that attracts us. These are the places where we really feel at home, where it is really possible to give up the fuss and where time flows quite differently. Each of us has a part of the soul living in a small homeland.

Belarus President takes part in Kupalle celebration in Alexandria