Magic porridge, filigree work and a Bogatyr carousel: What you need to know about the Russian Field Festival

Magic porridge, filigree work and a Bogatyr carousel: What you need to know about the Russian Field Festival
Guests will learn about life in small Russian towns and about crafts from all over Russia. They will hear the sound of 56 bells plus watch a power lifting show.

A Russian village will appear at the Kolomenskoye Historical and Architectural Museum Reserve on 18 August. It will host the Seventh Interregional Creative Festival of Slavic Art called the Russian Field Festival that will be attended by 57 Russian regions.

”The secret of Russian Field’s popularity lies in its unique concept. We want to show the world the beauty of authentic Russian traditions. Craftspeople, artists, cooks and strong men from all over the country will come to the capital for this.  All of them represent not only their special skills but also their regions,” said Head of the Department for Multicultural Policy, Interregional Cooperation and Tourism Vitaly Suchkov.

Peal of bells and Folk Attire 

The Russian Field Festival will see new venues in addition to the traditional ones. They will show visitors the way of life in small Russian cities. One of the new venues will be the Monastery Courtyard that will be devoted to the life of Russian monasteries and timed to the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia. Monastery Courtyard guests will hear how church bells sound in various parts of the country, from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka. Fifty-six specially cast bells will be installed. Bell ringers from all over Russia will come to the festival to perform their brand of melodic sound. Guests will also be able to hear a performance by the Large Orthodox Choir with seven sets of chimes.

Maiden Row will present seven areas of work by Russian designers in the Slavic style. One will include replicas from classic outfits that were worn in different provinces. Folk clothes, made by following ancient craft canons will be shown at the festival podium.

Guests will also see modern outfits with ethnic motifs. Collections made under the influence of Russian vanguard art will be shown at the festival, for instance, sports clothes with folk prints.  Evening dresses in the Russian style will be a special feature at the podium. Guests will also see outfits that were popular in the 17th century. For the first time, bobbin lace will be presented. Yelets, Vologda and Kirov are the centres of this craft.

Russian filigree, a Bogatyr carousel and porridge from axe 

Many handicrafts will be displayed in the Merchant Courtyard: Tumanova painting, Russian filigree work including rare pieces, Filimonovo and Khludnevo toys, burl (gnarl) pieces, bead weaving and stone carvings. For the first time, guests will be able to vote for one of the regional craft houses. The winners will receive awards from the organisers.

At the Bogatyr (strong warrior) outpost guests will see Slavic power games, for instance, the Bogatyr carousel, for the first time. World champion weight lifter, Alexander Tronin, will try to set a record in arm lifting. Multiple winner of Russia’s strongest man title and a Guinness Book of Records record holder, Elbrus Nigmatullin will also take part in the Bogatyr Outpost programme. Professional athletes from the Russian Bogatyrs power show will show their best.

The Hearty Meal Courtyard will offer okroshka, a cold vegetable soup and other traditional meals. Russian cheese and hand-made bread producers will take part in the festival for the first time. They will also have an opportunity to taste porridge that was magically made from an axe. It will actually be made from farro flour.

Games, music and fireworks

The Cathedral of Candlemas Choir, a male chorus from the Danilov Monastery and the Kuban Cossack Choir will perform at the festival. Other performers will include the Gzhel Dance Company, singer Pelageya, Nadezhda Babkina and the Russian Song Theatre, Tina Kuznetsova, Olga Kormukhina, Alexei Belov, Burito and Vladimir Presnyakov.

“The main difference between the 2018 gala festival and previous ones is that traditional folk choir singing is linked with modern rhythms that are understandable both for the younger and older generations,” said the festival’s Art Director and People’s Artist of Russia conductor Pavel Ovsyannikov. “A symphony orchestra, academic and folk choirs and rock bands will be on the main stage simultaneously. All together they will create a unique musical palette that reflects Russia’s modern choir singing”.

Venues with Slavic games and contests will be open to the festival’s young guests.

The festival will be crowned by fireworks.

The Russian Field Festival is a major festival of Slavic art in Europe. Every year over 3,000 artists and 200,000 visitors are united by a love for Russian culture and traditions.

Artists and crafts people from 48 regions took part in the 2016 festival. In 2017 they came from 54 regions. Last year the festival was devoted to the 870th anniversary of Moscow. The various festival venues have been named after Moscow squares, streets and lanes.