The American CNN news channel on the Christmas Eve made an unexpected promotion of tourism in Belarus. In the posted on CNN's website list of the best places in the world to celebrate the Christmas season 2010-2011 was the Belarusian village Pogost.
In Belarus itself, there are not many people who can say where this village is located. The more surprising is the discovery of the reporters of the American channel, who have put Pogost village on the third place in the ranking of the best places to celebrate Christmas on the planet.
The authors of the rating note that, despite difficulties in gaining of the Belarusian visa visiting of the Christmas festivities in Pogost village is a unique experience that can get Western tourists from communicating with the Belarusian culture.
Kolyady is the so-called Old Belarusian holiday, celebration of which was highlighted by CNN. Kolyady is held in the interval between 25 December (Catholic Christmas) and January 7 (Orthodox Christmas). In Belarus both Catholic and Orthodox Christmas are state holidays.
Kolyady is the pre-Christian holiday that is celebrated on the day of winter solstice. With the advent of Christianity, Kolyady were timed to celebration of Christmas. However, the tradition to dress up in animal costumes and go to other homes with songs and dances preserved until now.
It is not clear whether the CNN journalists were involved in the celebration of Kolyady. However, the fact that the Belarusian village in the list of best places to celebrate the Christmas overtaken such renowned throughout the world centers of winter recreation as Salzburg in Austria and New York, deserves respect. Maybe for American tourists the Old World is already well understood. But the unfamiliar and fascinating ritual feasts of mysterious Belarus will be the elements that will make Christmas a truly memorable holiday.
The full ranking of the best places for the celebration of Christmas is following:
1. Reykjavik (Iceland)
2. Nuremberg (Germany)
3. Pogost (Belarus)
4. Salzburg (Austria)
5. Sydney (Australia)
6. New York (USA)
7. Hong Kong (China)
8. San Juan (Puerto Rico)
9. London (UK)
10. Boston (USA)