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All Seasons In Belgorod
Article & Photography by Paul J. Hechtman
Belgorod celebrated its 3rd International Festival Fair of the Orthodox culture on August 21, 2010. The fair theme was cultural traditions of the Slavic people. Centuries of cultural traditions are represented by crafts and food. Farmers, handcrafts men & women from twenty-one districts participate in the fair. National ceremonies of the rural settlements, with dancing and songs were preformed. Many Master Craftsmen & women demonstrated their crafts, sharing their
skill and secrets and presenting products that they made at the fair. The fair was organized to maintain Russia’s
national culture and traditions and to preserve crafts, which play a major role in the history of Russia.
In the 9th-12th centuries Kiev Russia and Novgorod there were approximately 200 kinds of arts and crafts. During the period when Moscow started to grow there were 40 different specialties that required craftsmen. By the 14th century there were several centers for traditional arts throughout Russia. One of the arts was the craft of basket weaving.

The forests in Russia provided various types of wood, such as oaks, giant pine trees and willow trees. The forests
provided the essential needs for everyday life for the Russian people. Everything was made out of wood; sandals,
brooms, baby cradle, baskets, small and large houses, with elaborate woodcarvings. Hunting objects like bows and arrows, bear-spears and clubs were made from wood.

Master Craftsmen Sergey Borzyh and Nikolay Rakitjansky from the Prohorovsky region.
In 996 A.D. wooden spoons are mentioned in the Russian Chronicles, by the chronicler Nestor. It was around this time when the genealogy of wooden vessels started to be recorded and this period of time was the beginning of the “Wood Age”.
Wooden spoons and iron tools, which were used to make the spoons, were found during an excavation in Novgorod
and Kiev. These artifacts date back to 10th-12th centuries.
By 1882 Nizhnii Novgorod Province was considered the center of spoon production in Russia and in the Semenov
district approximately four million pieces of wooden spoons were made. By 1912 18,000 people were involved in this craft.
Today there are very few master spoon carvers left and the production from the Nizhnii Novgorod province produces about 400,000 spoons a year. The Semenov College is working on reviving the craft of spoon making by offering
classes in craving. The above information came from the following link:, there are some wonderful old photographs at this link.


 Andrey, age 9. He is craving a person.

The first accordion from France appeared in Russia around 1820 and by the 1830’s manufacturing of the accordion
began in Tulle. The diatonic accordion was used to play traditional Russian folk music. Brand named accordions like Eleyski, Kasimov, Saratova and Viatica were being manufactured by the end of the 19th century.
Khegstrem established the “First Russian Society of Harmonica Lovers” in 1907. In the same year Sterligov invented
the first free bass chromatic accordion. The chromatic accordion was named “Bayan”.
By 1926-27 in St. Petersburg and Moscow, schools and Universities started teaching the accordion as a profession.
Today many activities and events that people go to you will more than likely see someone playing the accordion.

Grapes from the settlement Borisovka Nikolaem Tsibulnikom. More than one hundred kinds of grapes from this

Furs of a fox, raccoon and mink from the village Antonovka of Grajvoronsky, region Alezander Morgunov.


Vladimir Skarnitsky from village Dvuluchnogo, located in the Valujsky region. He makes brooms from sorgo grass that
he grows himself. The inhabitants of his village specialize in manufacturing brooms and make 270 thousand brooms annually, which are in high demand across all of Russia.

Nikolay Harlanov's brooms, produced in the village Urakovo, located in the region of Krasnensky. Brooms are made out of birch, oak.

 Margarita Kudryavtseva, Art From Scraps of Fabric
Margarita’s grandmother and mother were dressmakers and at a young age Margarita was collecting the leftover scraps and using them for her sewing projects.
After meeting her husband they both attended the Irkutsk School of Arts, where they study under the same teacher. Today they are both accomplished artist and they travel around Russia taking part in different art competitions.
Margarita has been the winner of several competitions over the past several years. In her most recent competition in Moscow she won first place.
Margarita and her husband Gennady have a studio located in the center of Belgorod city.

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