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.

Folk festival to be held in Gomel Oblast in late August

GOMEL, 20 August (BelTA) - The second festival of ethnic and cultural traditions Zov Polesia (The Call of Polesye) will be held in the Lyaskovichi agro town, Petrikov District, Gomel Oblast, on 24-25 August, BelTA learnt from Olga Antonenko, the First Deputy Chief of the Culture Department of the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee.

Participating in the event will be folk groups and artisans from eight districts of Gomel Oblast (Zhitkovichi, Yelsk, Kalinkovichi, Lelchitsy, Mozyr, Narovlya, Petrikov and Khoiniki District) and three districts of Brest Oblast (Luninets, Pinsk and Stolin District) along with hundreds of honored guests from abroad. The festival will feature performances by both amateur musicians and famous artists from Gomel and Brest Oblasts. Participating in the festival will be professional Belarusian singers.

The major goal of the festival is to preserve and popularize ethnic and cultural traditions of Pripyat Polesye which are part of the Belarusian cultural heritage.

The program of the festival will include a demonstration of Polesye crafts, performances of a number of musicians, master classes in blacksmithing, beekeeping, willow plaiting along with fishing competitions, dugout canoe racing and other kinds of entertainment. A playground will be open for children.

Other events will include an opening ceremony of a nature museum of the Pripyatsky national park, a roundtable session of major Belarusian travel operators, a presentation of a documentary about Polesie and other events.

The first festival of ethnic and cultural traditions was held in September 2010 and brought together about 5,500 participants.

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Development, informational and technical support: BELTA, 2006