Historical Festival in Verkhnii Saltiv Gathered over 3000 Guests
The first historical and archeological festival “Perlyny Slobozhanshchyny” (“Pearls of Slobozhanshchyna”), which took place in the Vovchansk district with the financial support of the Charitable Foundation of Social Development in the Kharkiv Region, had great success. Its guests and participants had a chance to feel the spirit of ancient warriors alans, to have a look at artifacts of the old Saltiv settlement, to take part in sports competitions and to learn ancient crafts.
Staryi Saltiv hadn’t probably seen such crowds of people since the middle ages. Over three thousand lovers of antique from all over the Kharkiv region and beyond arrived to the festival “Alanski Vytoky” (“Springs of Alans”).
“We welcomed delegations from the Poltava, Dnipro, Sumy, and Kyiv regions. As a result, the festival that was supposed to have a regional scale turned into an all-Ukrainian event. It was great to see that so many people showed interest in history, archeology, and ethnography of Slobozhanshchyna. There are no trees without roots, just like there is no future without knowing the history of one’s native land. However the event has evidenced that Ukrainians take care of their historical and cultural heritage. We are also very grateful to the Foundation for its financial support of “Alanski Vytoky”. It would be impossible to organize such events without the support of benefactors,” said Andrii Sheinin, one of the event’s initiators and organizers.
Guests of the festival had an opportunity to see artifacts of the ancient Saltiv settlement that have been exposed publicly for the first time, to join exclusive excursions given by archeologists and historians, to watch exhibition performances of middle age knights in armor suits, to shoot from bows and crossbows, and to compete in javelin throw. Both kids and adults were captivated with the “Games of Alans”. After such exercises every festival participant could taste a yummy porridge cooked right on the field or a thick soup, take part in the photo contest “Festival Spirit”, as well as to attend the folk arts master classes.
“Very interesting craftsmen arrived for the festival. They were masters in grass weaving, pottery, and leatherwork. All of these are ancient crafts existing since the times of alans. While my child learned how to make a pot on the potter’s wheel, I made an amulet. Herbalists shared very interesting information about various herbs and their use. Our entire family will definitely come for the next festival. Such events unite people. And it’s so good that we have foundations, which care for such really useful and educational events,” shared the festival’s visitor Iryna Shevchenko.
In the afternoon the festival guests watched the staged middle age battles. Knights in armor suits played fierce combats. It appeared that spears were more dangerous than swords. Representatives of the Sviatoslav military and historical club have not only demonstrated ancient combat techniques, but also allowed everyone to touch the weapon or try knights’ armor suits on.
In the meantime folk music groups from different regions gave performances at the stage. They sang, danced, and played the musical instruments. There were so many stage performers that the program that was supposed to last for a couple of hours, continued till the late evening.
“One can say with confidence that the first festival was interesting and captivating. We think that it’s very important for citizens of the Kharkiv region to know their history. This festival was like a time machine taking everyone to ancient times about one thousand years back. This experience is very useful for studying the history of our native land. That is why we will try to further support such events,” stated Yevhen Shapoval, the Chairman of the Management Board of the Charitable Foundation of Social Development in the Kharkiv Region.
In the evening a fire-show and an open-air cinema were organized for the visitors. Here one also presented video materials about the collaborative archeological expedition of the M.F. Sumtsov Kharkiv Historical Museum and the historical department of the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. This year they worked on the catacombs burial ground near the village of Varkhnii Saltiv.
Another historical and cultural festival “Perlyny Slobozhanshchyny” is planned for January. Today the organizers decide on a site for it; several districts near Verkhnii Saltiv showed the desire to host guests of the event. This is a hard choice, because every district has its unique history that deserves attention of scientists and archeologists.