Three days Bazhovka. How the festival became a crossroads of Russian cultures

After two years of pandemic, the Bazhov Festival hospitably welcomed lovers of folk art and folklore from all over the country.

The festival site, located near the village of Demarino, in the Plastovsky district of the Chelyabinsk region, has been turned into a “city” of people. Here everything took on a national color. The spirit of the world was everywhere. How did the festival ignite people’s hearts and why do you want to come back here again and again? We are talking about one of the brightest events of the year.

Once you cross the threshold of the festival city, you are immediately in the world of popular culture – historical, original. Every nation is proud of its traditions and is in a hurry to talk about them, to show the life of its ancestors through costumes, songs, dances, cuisine and rituals. A peasant hut, a Cossack hut, a Tatar and a Baskir yurt, a tent of the northern peoples and a residence of the nomadic tribes of the Southern Urals are located in a row on the site of the Ural settlement festival.

Dance of the meeting of the sun

Everyone takes photos and videos. Young people with tambourines and in the national costumes of the peoples of the North do some ceremony, I thought. Experts suggest: this is a heiro dance, which means “sun” in translation. So the people of the taiga are happy to meet the sun after a long polar night. They dance heiro next to the national residence – chum. It is held by poles of six meters. Tundra residents can assemble this lightweight and reliable structure in an hour. An idol is placed at the entrance of the house. Every family has its own. The inhabitants of the area are mainly engaged in hunting, fishing, reindeer livestock, as well as in the manufacture of clothes and shoes from animal skins.

This type of shoe is called kisy and is made of deer skin. Put hay instead of insoles. “Such boots can be worn barefoot and slept in the snow,” said festival participant Andrei Dmitriev.

Bazhovka_Kovaleva_DSC_7404_peoples of the north_shaman_tambourine.jpg

– Do not you feel sorry for the deer? asks one of the guests.

The deer is everything in the life of the northern peoples. That includes clothes, transportation and staple foods, ”Andrey explains.

Andrei and Oksana Dmitriev brought this part of the life of the nomadic peoples of the North to the Urals from the town of Tarko-Sale, the Autonomous Okrug Yamalo-Nenets. Oksana said that the natives of northern Russia are the Nenets. They are tens of thousands, so they are considered a small people. They live a closed life away from civilization.

– The Nenets are very hospitable. They say: “my stump is your companion”. People live on the edge of the earth, wandering from camp to camp, because of this, they rarely have visitors. And when they arrive, the owners are ready to give them all the warmth of their heart, says Oksana Dmitrieva.

Queues of those wishing to visit representatives of different nations gathered at the festival grounds. If the adults were more interested in the origins of the traditions, then the children were trying to “feel” them – to touch the household items, to try on costumes or something like that from the national cuisine.


Azhχοι Bazhovka

“Masterovaya Sloboda” is located near a pine forest. The paths are like a maze. From the plethora of folk crafts and crafts dizzy. There are so many. You want to hold each product in your hands, feel its power and unravel the mystery.

I continue my way through the city of teachers and listen to the music of the steppes. These are the sounds of a musical instrument – the Jewish harp.


The rhythmic “boom-boom” leads to another musical point. The guests of this festival play ethnic drums. Made by Poletaevo master Stanislav Kuramin. The sound of the drum is regulated by the force of the beat: the louder it is, the thicker the sound and vice versa. The drum is covered with leather, the support for it is made of ceramic.

– This ram has a “leg” on the side, and not from below, as we are used to seeing. So it can be placed on a table or on your knees. In general, creating musical instruments is my spiritual child, which brings joy, – says Stanislav.


Wizards of Bazovka

In Bazhovka, hundreds of curious eyes watch the potter’s wheel. Teacher Denis Zakharov sculpts kitchen utensils.

“The potter’s wheel only takes 10% of the work, 90% of the time you take care of the clay,” says Dennis. “First, we have to agree on the material. He is alive. For example, now that I have made this product, you have to hold it well in your hand, because the clay is still soft. You hold it slowly, your hands tremble. You feel it. Then you spread ornaments.


In the hands of the craftsman from Chrysostom Natalya Maslova is a bird girl. The beauty is made of fabric according to the author’s design. Natalia’s products are well known beyond the Southern Urals.

– I wanted to combine an old Russian festive headdress – a kichka with angel wings. And so the little bird girl was born. “It absorbs the image of a bird of happiness and an angel,” said the craftsman.

In the labyrinths of the city of craftsmen, a deer suddenly appears … made of metal. The avant-garde sculpture was created by Danil and Natalya Sakhnenko, artists from the town of Gubkinsky, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

– The volume of the composition is configured on the computer. Then each triangle is cut from sheet metal with a grinder and glued together. This is a very painful work, – says Andrey Sakhnenko, a member of the Union of Artists of Russia.


The trio “Agoritsvet” from the Etkulsky region participates in the Bazhov festival. The singers are getting ready to go on stage.

– We probably came here for the fifteenth or sixteenth time to play. As soon as June comes, we start gathering for Bazovka. During these two years when there was no festival, they missed each other. We are teachers of a rural school, we like to sing. This is our hobby.

Undoubtedly, this Bazhovka will be remembered for the diversity of its popular cultures and an unprecedented number of guests.


– I love the festival for its size. Everything is presented here: both the craftsmen and our cuisine in the Urals, our dances, our songs. “Our whole soul of the Urals opens here,” he stressed Minister of Culture of the Chelyabinsk Region Alexei Betekhtin.

The Bazhov Festival gathered several tens of thousands of participants and guests from all over the country. Large-scale, valiant vacations in the Southern Urals will go down in history as the 28th in a row.

Leave a Comment