Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hydyrlez--A Celebration of Spring

May 7, 2011 was the first large festival in the Simferopol region to celebrate the Crimean Tatar spring holiday called Hydyrlez. My partner at the library, Nadjie, had told me about it weeks ago, and we had made a plan to go together. However, she ended up not being able to go, so I went with another Peace Corps Volunteer, Cheryl Pratt, and my neighbor family. Staff at the Gasprinsky Library also went and set up a display of books about Hydyrlez in a booth they shared with the Crimean Tatar Art Museum.
Despite early morning chilly temperatures, the day turned into a beautiful sunny day with clouds floating across the distant green hills. Located about 20 kilometers from Simferopol, the festival was held on a large track of land with room for booths, performances, food, sports, and plenty of strolling around. The crowd was estimated at 7,000 to 10,000 people, and it was a great beginning for what will be an annual Crimean Tatar festival.

There were performances of traditional Crimean Tatar music and dance.

Beautiful crafts were for sale.

Many people enjoyed the performances on the large concert stage.

There was lots of wonderful Crimean Tatar food.

Thanks to Peace Corps Volunteer Cheryl Pratt for the photos.

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