Celebration in honor of the Budslaŭ icon of Our Lady (Budslaŭ fest)


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Inscribed in 2018 (13.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Orlov, 2015

The Budslaŭ Fest takes place in Budslaŭ village, in the Minsk region. Since the seventeenth century, every year on the first weekend of July tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over Belarus and other countries have come to Budslaŭ to participate in the celebrations in honor of the Budslaŭ icon of Our Lady, with some making the pilgrimage on foot. The Icon, the patroness of Belarusian people, is known for many miracles and Budslaŭ is recognized as the place where, according to legend, Our Lady appeared to believers in July 1588. Elements of the celebration include priests welcoming the pilgrims, masses, a night procession with the Icon and candles, a youth prayer vigil, and hours of prayer to the Mother of God. The tradition is an integral part of the history and culture of the local community of Budslaŭ, with bearers including people of all ages and social statuses. It attracts entire families and believers of all ages, which helps strengthen intergenerational ties. Related knowledge is preserved and transmitted by local inhabitants, who are very proud of the relic; they show pilgrims a warm welcome, inviting them to local homes to share meals with them. Pilgrims visiting Budslaŭ learn all about the local traditional culture, including the ceremony and local traditions such as crafts, customs and cuisine.