By: Violeta Borisova Zlateva
From June 16 to June 18, the traditional festival “Silk and Spices” took place in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Thousands of years ago, caravans loaded with silk and spices went from China to Europe, passing through mountain passes and lifeless deserts, stopping in blooming oases. Bukhara was one of those cities through which the trade route from East to West passed. In addition, the best masters of pottery, chasing, carpet weaving, gold embroidery and other crafts lived here.
At the beginning of the 21st century, thanks to the efforts of the Uzbektourism National Company, the Bukhara City Hall, and the Hunarmand Craftsmen Association, the first Silk and Spices Festival was organized, designed to revive the cultural heritage of the Great Silk Road and show all the richness of the traditions of local craftsmen. The idea turned out to be so good that the festival became an annual event, and each time it attracted more and more tourists. Traditionally, the festival takes place for several days in late May – early June.
At the Silk and Spices festival you will find yourself in the world of an oriental fairy tale. At the opening, a festive procession usually takes place, where people dress up in national costumes, artists, dancers, acrobats and strongmen perform.
Detachments of medieval warriors line up near the walls of the Ark fortress, and caravans of camels and horses pass along the street connecting the trading domes of Bukhara. All this creates the impression of traveling a thousand years ago.
During several days of the Silk and Spices festival, fairs are held where you can buy handicrafts, various souvenirs and, of course, silk scarves. On the territory of historical monuments, various master classes of artisans from Bukhara and other regions of Uzbekistan are organized. At the same time, various conferences dedicated to the history, culture and preservation of the traditions of Uzbekistan are held during the festival.
The end of the festival “Silk and Spices” traditionally becomes a big concert in the architectural ensemble Poi-Kalyan, where you can hear all the richness of Uzbek folk music.