A nation is known, recognized and distinguished among the world nations by certain characteristic features. The highest and the greatest of these features is culture.

HEYDAR ALIYEV
23.04.2019 10:19
The program of the 10th International Mstislav Rostropovich Festival has been revealedThe festival will take place in Baku on April 22-27, bringing together world-famous musicians from Azerbaijan, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, etc. Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra will perform at the State Academic Philharmonic Hall on April 22, Trend Life reported. The orchestra will be conducted by People's Artist of Azerbaijan Rauf Abdullayev. The soloists are Russian violinist Sergey Krylov and French pianist Alexander Kantorov. Lausanne Chamber Orchestra will give a concert on April 23. The ensemble is regularly heard at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees and Salle Pleyel in Paris, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, National Academy of St. Cecilia in Rome, Musikverein in Vienna, as well as at festivals such as the BBC Proms in London, the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest and the Rheingau Musik Festival. Evening of piano music will be held at Baku Music Academy on April 24. The concert will feature Russian pianist Boris Berezovsky. On April 25, the St. Petersburg State Academic Ballet Theater of Boris Eifman will perform the play “On the Other Side of Sin“ at the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. Spectacular concert of the Azerbaijan State Symphony will be held at Heydar Aliyev Palace under the guidance of Honored Artist of Azerbaijan Fuad Ibrahimov. The soloist of the evening is Spanish cellist Pablo Ferrandes. All the concerts start at 19:00. Born in Baku, Mstislav Rostropovich was internationally recognized as a staunch advocate of human rights. He was awarded the 1974 Award of the International League of Human Rights. Rostropovich was a huge influence on the younger generation of cellists. Many have openly acknowledged their debt to his example. In the Daily Telegraph, Julian Lloyd Webber called him “probably the greatest cellist of all time.“ He inspired and premiered over 100 pieces and formed long-standing artistic partnerships with such prominent composers as Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, Henri Dutilleux, Witold Lutoslawski, Olivier Messiaen, Luciano Berio, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Norbert Moret, Andreas Makris and Benjamin Britten. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he has become one of the leading conductors of the West. He was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, who was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1966. They performed together regularly. ..
22.04.2019 09:42
IV Booktrailer Festival’ awarding ceremony to be held on MayAwards ceremony of IV Booktrailer Festival will be held on May 1. The festival's director Ruslan Sabirli informed that, names of the winners of the festival will be announced at the International Mugham Center, where intellectuals, well-known figures will take part. “The jury members voted not jointly but separately, that is, no one knew the colleagues' ratings. We wish everyone success” added R. Sabirli. The first place winner will get a prize of 1,000 manats, while the winners of the second and third places will receive 800 manats and 500 manats. The festival is held under the motto “Kitabı tanıdın, kitabla tanının!“ (Promote a book, get promoted with a book!) with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, the International Mugham Center, Azerbaijanfilm Studio named after J.Jabbarli and Azercell Telecom. For more information, please visit: www.booktrailer.az    ..
10.04.2019 18:18
Niyazi - founder of Azerbaijan conductor schoolNiyazi was one of the greatest conductors of Azerbaijani classical music. He was the son of Zulfugar Hajibayli (Uzeyir Hajibayli’s brother, also a famous composer). Having conducted in the symphonic orchestras in Prague, Berlin, Budapest, Bucharest, New York, Paris, Istanbul, London, Tehran, Beijing, etc., Niyazi made Azerbaijani classical music world-famous. He captivated listeners with his energy, high artistic performance, and musical talent. Niyazi was not only a great conductor but also a talented composer. His compositions always combined a national coloring with the methods of classical symphonic music. Niyazi’s most significant works include the opera “Khosrow and Shirin“ (1942), and the ballet “Chitra“ (1960). The symphonic mugham Rast composed by Niyazi also successfully applies Azerbaijani musical folklore to the symphony genre and classical music in general. Rast was included in the repertoire of many symphonic orchestras around the world. His orchestra accompanied such legendary singers as Bulbul, Rashid Behbudov, Muslim Magomayev, Lutfiyar Imanov and other outstanding performers. Niyazi also headed the Azerbaijan Symphonic Orchestra for 46 years from 1938 to the end of his life. The Home-Museum of the great conductor and composer was founded in 1994 by the Decree and personal involvement of national leader Heydar Aliyev. ..
02.04.2019 16:29
Azerbaijani books on display at Bologna Children`s Book FairAzerbaijani books are for the first time featured at the Bologna Children`s Book Fair in Italy. The national stand at the fair highlights Azerbaijan`s culture, children`s literature books as well as the project “Recognition of the Azerbaijan Book in the World”. It also gives an insight into the Baku International Book Exhibition-Fair, which will take place on September 27-29. The Bologna Children`s Book Fair brings together about 1400 participants, including publishers, authors, illustrators, literary agents and distributors from 80 countries. In over 50 years of its history, the Bologna Children`s Book Fair has managed to attract an increasing number of operators, extending the scope of activities to include the world of digital publishing, apps, animation and licensing, becoming a unique and not-to-be-missed event, and the world leader in the sector for kids and young adults. ..
02.04.2019 12:47
Booktrailer Festival 2019 stops reception of applicationsThe Organizing Committee has finished accepting applications for the first Booktrailer Festival in Azerbaijan. “At present, the Organizing Committee is reviewing the book trailers and checking the work to the compatibility of the Festival. I wish all participants good luck!“, said festival's director Ruslan Sabirli. The festival is held with the assistance of the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, the International Mugham Center, Azerbaijanfilm Studio and Azercell Telekom, Trend Life reported.  Booktrailers are short videos that promote a book or an author, providing a good illustration of the book content. The festival aims at promoting books, supporting and developing creative forms of reading, searching talented young people in cinematography and promoting bookrailers as a part of art and business. The first place will get a prize in the amount of 1,000 manats ($ 589), while the winners of the second and third places 800 manats  ($ 471) and 500 ($ 298) manats, respectively. The winners will be also awarded in the nomination “The best mobile book-trailer“. To participate in this nomination, everyone can shot a booktrailer on a mobile phone and send it to the festival. For more information, please visit: www.booktrailer.az  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/BooktrailerFest Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BooktrailerFest Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/BooktrailerFest For all questions, please contact: festival2019@booktrailer.az   ..
29.03.2019 09:58
Kelagai - reviving ancient traditionsKelagai is an Azerbaijani women's quadrangular headdress made from silk threads. In the western regions of the country, it is also called “chargat.“ Along with the symbols of beauty, dignity, loyalty and reverence, the kelagai kerchief also reflects the ancient history, culture and traditions of the Land of Fire. Note that the Azerbaijani kelagai is included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. All roads lead to Sheki Kelagai production is known in Azerbaijan since ancient times. High quality kelagai was produced in Tabriz, Ganja, Shamakhi, Sheki and Nakhchivan cities. Despite the fact that today kelagai is produced in many regions, this art is most common in the city of Basgal, 165 km north-west of Baku, and also in the city of Sheki, located 320 km away in the same direction. A key factor in the quality and prevalence of kelagai production in these regions is Sheki silk. Fabric production, which is then used to make kelagai, is a long process with a long history. In Azerbaijan, sericulture has been spread and developed for a long time. Studies show that the history of sericulture in Sheki has more than two millennia. Sheki for many years remained in the status of the silk-breeding center of Azerbaijan and the entire Caucasus. The largest silk factory in the world operated in the 19th century in Sheki. Sheki silk was known and highly valued not only in Azerbaijan, but also in the countries of the East, Europe and Russia. During the reign of Nicholas II, Sheki silk was added to the composition of the Russian Empire’s banknotes in denominations of five hundred rubles to prevent their collapse and rapid wear. At the international exhibition in London in 1862, Sheki silk was awarded a medal. The Saint-Etienne company from French Leon, was one of the regular customers of Sheki silk. It is not surprising that at the beginning of the XIX century, for success in the field of silk production, Sheki was called Caucasian Leon, comparing it with the French capital of silk. Also highly valued clothing, embroidery and head covers, made from Sheki silk. That is why the craftsmen engaged in the manufacture of kelagai preferred to buy Sheki silk, even if they themselves worked in Basgal. Thus, despite a certain remoteness of the two regions, they were firmly connected by “silk threads”. Travelers and diplomats who visited Azerbaijan in different years, for example, Adam Olearius, Anthony Jenkinson, Evliya Celebi, Alexandre Dumas, Fedot Kotov told about kelagai in their travel notes. It is also known that in 1870, kelagai from Basgal won the silver medal at the exhibition in London. Verge of craftsmanship Since the centuries-old history of kelagai production involves a complex process, representatives of a number of professions are involved in manufacturing - a tailor (creating kelagai), a dyer of kelagai fabric, a pattern artist (creating patterns using ready-made stencils) and an ornamentalist. Making this head blanket weighing 125 grams, easily passing through the ring, requires two days to paint and apply patterns, and, strange as it may sound, this women's head blanket is usually made by men, since only they can cope with the heavy work related to boiling dyes and heavy stencils. The dye is considered to be the most important in the production process of the female blanket, since painting the finished kelagai at high temperatures requires a lot of work, masterly skill and a delicate sense of taste. In the painting of kelagai in predominantly white, black, onion and green colors, dimensions 150x150 cm, and also 160x160 cm, natural dyes derived from barberries, paradise apples, saffron, currants and other plants are used. Silk fabrics are boiled to ensure that they do not fade in the future. Indeed, kelagai may wear out, but never lose their original color. After dyeing, the material is dried, smoothed and then begins its decoration. Kelagai patterns are applied using a wooden or metal stencil. Yelyan (edges) of kelagai, and sometimes Khoncha (center), are decorated with the basmanahysh method (pressure impregnation) with geometric or arbitrary patterns. The patterns applied to the kelagai carry a meaning and remain unchanged for centuries. The main patterned line is buta - as one of the most common elements of the ornamental art of Azerbaijan. The buta is a symbol, in the form of an almond-shaped pattern, with a pointed curved upper end. Something he recalls the imprint of the underside of the hand folded into a fist. It is assumed that this widespread ornament in Azerbaijan goes back deep in history. The kelagai of each region differs in ornaments applied to the edges of the scarf. In Kelagai from Sheki and Basgal, the patterns “Shah buta”, “Saya buta” and “Hirda buta” can be found most of all. Kelagai “Kheyrati”, “Sogany”, “Istiotu”, “Albuhary”, “Abi”, “Elyani” were also popular among the peoples of the Middle East and the Caucasus. Some forms and motifs in the kelagai patterns reflected, among other things, the life of the local population. So on confectionery and bakery products elements of kelagai patterns can be found. The veil, as a symbol of beauty and purity, is often mentioned in Azerbaijani folklore, poetry and decorative art. Of course, all these factors led to the fact that the kelagai ornaments found their place in the art of other nations of the world. Kelagai language One of the features of kelagai is that it creates both warmth and coolness. Silk cloth, being very thin and soft, takes care of the skin and protects it from various microbes. And today, kelagai in Azerbaijan remains a common element of women's wardrobe. Women of different ages wear kelagai of various colors and shapes. For example, older women wear it in the form of a turban or a small kerchief (“dinge“), while young women and girls tie kelagai like a scarf. Women wear black on mourning, and kelagai of bright colors on weddings. In general, older women wear kelagai of dark color and larger size, and young women wear bright colors and smaller size. Nowadays, kalagai can be worn, for example, as a shawl draped over shoulders, as a pareo, pancho, etc. At one time, kelagai in Azerbaijan was not only a symbol of female beauty. It was also considered an attribute of family relationships. The girl who gave the kelagai to the young man, thus, gave a vow of lifelong loyalty to the chosen one. Or, during the matchmaking ceremony, after obtaining the consent of the girl, the woman representing the groom's side presented a jewelry wrapped in red kelagai. In addition, during the henna ceremony of the wedding, the bride's head was covered with kelagai and then henna was applied to her hands and feet. Speaking about the role of kelagai at wedding ceremonies, it should be noted that the groom and his closest friends also tied kelagai on their necks, as well as tied to a side mirror of a wedding car. Moreover, on trays with gifts from women arriving at the wedding, kelagai was considered the most expensive gift. This tradition is still preserved in several regions of Azerbaijan. In some Azerbaijani families, the deceased is covered with black kelagai before the burial process. This indicates that kelagai is one of the elements accompanying Azerbaijanis throughout their lives. Also, the veil is a symbol of peace. So, if a woman throws kelagai between two fighting men, they immediately stop the fight. Kelagai remains relevant at all times. Despite the vagaries of fashion, the size and shape of the patterns of the bedspreads remain unchanged. Kelagai can be considered one of the most ancient headgear in the world. Showcase of traditions The great demand for kelagai in Azerbaijan and abroad ensures the life of this ancient art form. And today in the city of Sheki and the village of Basgal whole dynasties are happy to make kelagai. The craftsmen from Sheki and Basgal who at various times moved not only to other regions of Azerbaijan, but also to Georgia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Russia and Uzbekistan, created the basis for the production of kelagai in these countries. At the initiative of the “Development” scientific organization, the Kelagai Silk Center was established and operates in Basgal. All traditions of kelagai manufacturing have been fully restored here. So, the most valuable 6 or 7 colored kelagai, produced in Basgal until now. By the way, kalagai in the Center are also made to order. The Center has a unique interactive “Kelagai” museum. Visitors to the museum can not only familiarize themselves with the history and traditions of kelagai, but also live to observe the process of their production and even participate in it themselves, and then save their own work in keeping with the long memory of Basgal. Kelagai and its significant role in the life and life of the Azerbaijani people are represented not only in the Museum of Basgala, but also in the State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow, the National Museum of History of Azerbaijan, the National Museum of Art of Azerbaijan. We can state with confidence that the art of kelagai will continue to live as an integral part of the Azerbaijani people, since this tradition is preserved not only thanks to those who are associated with it, but also to the whole people. ..
19.03.2019 12:31
Azerbaijan celebrates Novruz HolidayNovruz holiday is one of the most important and favorite holidays of the Azerbaijani people. It marks the arrival of spring, renewal of nature, and is celebrated on the vernal equinox, March 20-21 – the beginning of the astronomical New Year. The origin of Novruz dates back to ancient customs, cult of nature and fertility, as well as beliefs in nature’s decline and rise. During the month leading up to Novruz, every Tuesday is devoted to celebrating nature’s four elements consecutively: water, fire, earth, and air (or wind), the last one, called “Akhir Charshanba (Last Tuesday)”, representing the time when the leaves bud out and the spring finally begins. Samani - a symbol of Novruz The growing of samani (green sprouting wheat) is the most sacred Novruz ceremony as the herald of spring. Sprouting samani symbolizes sowing and a rich harvest, it represents grain, bread, increase and abundance. Grain and abundance is a pledge of life, existence, the most vital material necessity for life. People have always grown samani from wheat, barley, peas, lentils or other grains in copper dishes; they have always revered it and rejoiced at its sprouting. In the evening, children put hats under neighbors’ doors and hide, waiting for the neighbors to fill the hats with holiday favors. After the sunset people gather in the streets to kindle bonfires, dance around them, and jump over them to cleanse their souls and ward off evil spirits. Khoncha – a holiday table filled with sweets, nuts, candles, and other treats One of the essential parts of the holiday table is Khoncha (xonça) – a tray filled with sweets, nuts, candles, and other treats. Each of the sweets baked for Novruz has a symbolic meaning. Pakhlava represents the four parts of the world, Goghal – the sun, Shekerbura – the moon, and the eggs painted for Novruz are a symbol of life. Samani decorates the middle of the tray and is tied with red ribbon. The main festivities during the Novruz Holiday usually take place by the walls of the legendary Maiden Tower. The top of the tower is decorated with a huge Samani, and the beauty Bahar (spring) lights the torch installed on the tower the flame of which symbolizes the awakening of nature and life. During the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which took place from September 28 to October 2, 2009, multinational nomination “Novruz, Nowruz, Nooruz, Navruz, Nauroz, Nevruz” of Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. ..
15.03.2019 17:43
Azerbaijan, ISESCO discuss prospects for cooperationAzerbaijan`s Minister of Culture Abulfas Garayev has met with Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri to discuss the Azerbaijan-ISESCO relations and joint cooperation projects. Abulfas Garayev noted that Azerbaijan-ISESCO relations continue developing thanks to the efforts of President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice-President, ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva. The minister said that the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue to be held on May 2-3 in Baku will feature two panel sessions of ISESCO. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri hailed an exceptional role of President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice-President, ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva in developing relations between Azerbaijan and the organization. ..
13.03.2019 10:40
Azerbaijan`s magnificent folk dancesThe history of folk dances of Azerbaijan is very old. The scenes of dances reflected on Gobustan rock pictures are proof of that. Azerbaijani folk dances are very colorful from the viewpoint of themes and these types are – labor, ceremony, household, heroism, sport, chorus game. Azerbaijan`s national dance shows the characteristics of the Azerbaijani nation. These dances differ from other dances with its quick temp. Azerbaijani folk dance expresses symbolically a wide variety of emotional themes, ranging from the hospitality and generosity to friendship and the unity of the people, from the high spirits of young girls to the courage of the young men, to the expression of simple joie de vivre. The narrative of the awakening of spring and feelings of love is depicted through the graceful, aesthetic, lithe and sensuous movements by the girls as they dance, while other dances are simply happy and joyful. Also famous are the heroic Caucasian dagger dances executed by the men, spirited dancers with their heads held high, making every effort to display their consummate dancing abilities. ..