By Laman Ismayilova
"From regions to regions" art festival, promoting the cultural heritage of Azerbaijani people, moved to Ismayilli on July 28.
The art festival, timed to the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, is implemented under the slogan "Our 100-year history" at the initiative of the Ministry of Culture.
Member of the organizing committee of the festival, public relations coordinator Rovshan Najafov said that organization of the event in summer is a great opportunity for tourists to get acquainted with Azerbaijan's rich and diverse cultural life.
The event was solemnly attended by the heads of the region’s administrations, the public as well as guests. Initially, participants got acquainted with the exhibitions organized by 15 regional offices of the Ministry of Culture at the Children's Entertainment Center.
Samples of folk art, reflecting the cultural heritage of cities and regions, works of art, souvenirs, and handicrafts aroused great interest among participants.
The gala concert, which is part of the second part of the creative festival, was remembered by folklore groups, local arts and artistic collectives of each regional administration.
The performance of the soloist of the Kurdamir Regional Cultural Office Khagani Shahbazov; representative of Lahij Cultural Center, folk ensemble "Slavyanochka", the soloist of the State Radio and Television of Azerbaijan, laureate of the Mugam Contest in 2015 Elgiz Aliyev were welcomed with great interest.
Civil servant veteran Valeh Salehov spoke about this event dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic of Azerbaijan: “Today, such initiatives give us a chance to demonstrate and promote our historical and cultural heritage.”
Ismayilli region is home to the sites of special natural interest and highly picturesque valleys.
Located north of the country, Ismayilli was once part of Caucasian Albania – the 4th century B.C. Here, on top of the highest mountain lay the ruins of a medieval fortress.
Maiden Tower is the most famous and significant historical monument of the area. The tower is located on the top of a steep mountain in the territory of the State Ismailli Reserve.
There was an underground tunnel in the tower which led to the Javanshir Fortress.
Many different nations and ethnic groups live in Ismayilli. Among them are Lezgins, Russians (malakans), Jews, lahy?ch and hapyts, the descendants of ancient Albans.
One of the biggest Molokans villages in Azerbaijan called Ivanovka, founded in 1847 was established by the "Molokan" Russians who sought refuge in Azerbaijan after being ousted from Czarist Russia in the mid-19th century due to protesting Orthodox traditions. They have since lived in peace side by side with Azerbaijanis ever since. The village is famous for its fresh dairy products, tasty fruits and vegetables.
The Basgal village of Ismayilli was widely known here as a center of handicrafts and sericulture in the middle ages. To this day, the traditional female headscarf - Kelagayi, which is included in the UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity has been manufactured in this village.
Ismayilli has a very rich wildlife, hunting tourism has also prospered here. Forests in the area are inhabited by dears, mountain goats, wild boars, bears, wolves, foxes, hares and other animals.