Culture News Society, 11/09/2017

Ancestors’ Spirit at Saltiv Fest

An open air festival of autumn SaltivFest-2017, the second within the Pearls of Slobozhanshchina project aiming to promote precious touristic sights near Kharkiv, was held last weekend, September 9 – 10.

Sail races, combats, concerts, dances, folk arts, historical insights and national dishes contests spread at two spots at the scenic banks of Pechenihy water-storage reservoir, 50 kilometers from Kharkiv.

Thousands of Kharkivites with their families including very little babies and octogenarian great grandparents could find a lot of useful activities and entertainments for their body, mind and what might be called “spirit” as the atmosphere of brave ancestors and Cossacks reigned everywhere.

Both days saw workshops of traditional Ukrainian crafts and arts, embroidered national costumes, joyful fair of ethnic souvenirs and jewelry. However, the first one involved more water sports while the second was dedicated to history issues.

National dress

On September 9, the 50th anniversary of the First Kharkiv Regatta was celebrated and the river parade with over 120 sailing boats, a sailing race, master classes from leading trainers and yachtsmen of the Kharkiv region and the tourist clubs were held at Soicha resort in Stary Saltiv village. It is worth mentionning that this area has been the main Kharkiv yachting spot since 1966, also windsurfing and kite spots are situated here making Kharkiv a city of numerous water sports lovers.


On the second day, the participants moved 30 kilometers to the north along the water reservoir banks to Verkhnyi Saltiv village, where the fair was located on the field near the Historical-Archaeological Museum. Here the tours were arranged towards the fifth – eighth centuries burial ground where the excavations had proceeded since 1900. Thus the festival continued under the name “Pearls of Slobozhanshchyna: Alans’ Sources” as you could see and even touch the early medieval culture near Kharkiv. The tour guides and volunteers shared heaps of interesting facts about the Alans and the Proto-Bulgarians who had settled here.



It seemed all the Kharkiv region came to the banks of Pechenihy reservoir to take part in the open air festivities of early September.

“We feel as if our ancestors support us when we gather in the ancient historical places,” the representatives of “Arey” Cossack School, who were presenting ancient Ukrainian martial art to the children and their parents, promoting their school, noted. “It is inspiring to see the very little children, who are fascinated with the national costumes and combats. This is what this celebration is about.”


Reference: The Saltiv Fest 2017 was organized by the Kharkiv-with-You Charity Foundation, supported by Kharkiv Regional State Administration.

Text: Olena Sokolynska

Photo: Olena Sokolynska, Roman Zhurylo, SaltivFest