Silk and Spices Festival
Bukhara festival based on oriental fairy tales
Silk and Spices Festival is an annual feast held in Bukhara, the city of the Great Silk Road. Thousands of years ago, caravans coming from China and heading to Europe loaded with silk and spices went through the mountain passes and abandoned deserts, and stopped in blooming oases. Bukhara was one of the three cities where the trade route from East to West would pass. Here lived the best masters of pottery art, minting, carpet weaving, golden embroidery and other crafts.
In the beginning of the 21st century thanks to the efforts of national company “Uzbektourism”, authorities of Bukhara and Association of craftsmen “Khunarmand” the first festival of “Silk and Spices” was organized that aimed at reviving of cultural legacy of the Great Silk Road and displaying the rich traditions of local masters. The idea turned out to be so good that the festival became annual attracting more tourists every time. According to the tradition, the festival is held several days in the end of May-beginning of June.
At the Silk and Spice Festival you will find yourself in the world of oriental tale. The opening ceremony usually has the festive procession involving people dressed up in national costumes; performances of artists, dancers, acrobats and wrestlers. Units of medieval warriors are rowed along the Ark fortress, and caravans of camels and horses pass the street connecting trading domes of Bukhara. All this makes an impression of the trip back to thousand years.
There are fairs during several days of the Silk and Spices festival where one can buy hand-made pieces, souvenirs and of course silk scarves. Different kinds of master-classes of artisans from all over the country are held on the territory of historical monuments of Bukhara. Field battles like sheep and cockfights gather many people around. Along with this, during the festival different conferences are held dedicated to the history, culture and preservation of traditions of Uzbekistan. Traditionally, the closing ceremony of the Silk and Spices festival is a gala-concert at the architectural ensemble Poi-Kalyan, where you can enjoy the entire richness of Uzbek folklore music.
If you are planning a trip to Uzbekistan and wish not only see the magnificent city but also dive into the world of fairs and craft-shops, then it is worth choosing the last days of May.