Gomel oblast lies to the southeast of Belarus and borders on Briansk oblast /Russia/, Kiev , Chernigov and Zhitomir oblasts /Ukraine/.

The territory of Gomel oblast is 40,400 square kilometers. One third of the territory is covered with forests; the biggest rivers – the Dnepr, the Sozh, the Berezina and the Pripiat – are the most important navigable ways of Belarus .

There is the national park Pripiatskiy and the Polesye radiation-ecological reserve in the oblast.

Today there are 23 museums and 4 theaters and philharmonic societies in Gomel oblast numbers.

The region has 2,540 monuments, 1,360 of them are monuments of history and culture, 140 – of architecture and 1,040 – of archeology. And if the latter /they include ancient settlements and burial places/ are of interest only to archeologists and historians, the other places stir deep interest of the people who appreciate architectural masterpieces and are fond of the Belarusian history.

Over 900 artists gather for Beraginya folk festival in Belarus

Over 900 artists will take part in the 9th edition of the nationwide folk art festival Beraginya which is to kick off in Oktyabrsky District, Gomel Oblast on 23 June, BelTA learnt from the Oktyabsky District Executive Committee.

The event will open with a concert, We Welcome the Festival, in a park of the village of Oktyabrsky. Partaking in the concert will be foreign bands from Serbia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Lithuania and Ukraine.

Participants of the festival, which will last through 26 June, will take part in numerous competitions, including contests among performers of Belarusian folk and traditional dances and a children’s folk tournament.

The traditional festival Rudobelskoye Kupalye will take place on Saturday, 25 June. On 26 June the guests of the Beraginya festival will take part in the opening ceremony of the arts and crafts fair Rudobelskaya Yarmarka. The program of the fair will include a concert of national and foreign folk bands, master classes in folk songs, dances, music and entertainment shows, medieval reenactment featuring the Mozyr reenactment club Shatun.

Held since 1998 the national folk art festival Beraginya is aimed at supporting popular art, preserving regional and local art culture, discovering new folk bands. The major objective of the festival is to highlight the issues related to the education of the new generation through the means of traditional folk art. Beraginya is a unique festival which has become an important event in the cultural life of Belarus. Among the organizers of the folklore forum is the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee and the Oktyabrsky District Executive Committee. The festival will be held in cooperation with the Culture Ministry of Belarus and under the patronage of the UNESCO.

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Development, informational and technical support: BELTA, 2006