Millennium Post

Amelioration of Belarus

Day of Belarusian Written Language is an annual holiday that is marked on the first Sunday of September – demonstrating the unity of the Belarusian written word and the history and culture of Belarusians

Amelioration of Belarus

Traditionally, the Day of Belarusian Written Language is held in cities which are historical centers of culture, education and printing. For the first time in 1994, this festival was held in the city of Polotsk.

With years of celebration, the Festival acquired a national status and has become a significant event in the cultural sphere of Belarus. The main idea of this event is the careful preservation and development of the spiritual heritage of Belarus, promotion of national cultural traditions, showing their relationship with Slavic origins up to the present day, demonstration of the state's constant concern for the spiritual and moral development of society in the context of supporting books and readings, national literature and publishing. The 26th edition of the Day of Belarusian Written Language will be held in the city of Slonim of the Grodno region.

According to archaeological data, in the center of modern Slonim in the first half of the XI century, a fortified village was located. On the pages of historical sources the name of the city in the Hypatian Codex under 1252 was mentioned as Uslonim, Vaslonim (from East Slavic "Uslon", which means a barrier, the outpost).

At the end of the 13th century, the city finally became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and in 1531 received the Magdeburg Law. At the beginning of the 15th century, Slonim remained a significant military fortification. It is no accident that Slonim regiment took part in the battle of Grunwald, the result of which was the defeat of the crusaders.

The city was under the rule of several large feudal lords. In 1586, it was owned by Lithuanian Chancellor Lev Sapieha, after Sub-Chancellor of Lithuania Casimir Lev Sapieha, Oginski magnates. In 1591, Sigmund II Vasa gave the city the Coat of Arms: the olden lion with a double silver cross on a blue field.

The heyday of Slonim during the second half of the eighteenth century connected with the activities of Grand Hetman of Lithuania Michał Kazimierz Ogiński (1728-1800). In Slonim, he built several enterprises. On his initiative and at his expense, a canal was built (1763-1783), which connected the tributary of Pripyat Yaselda with Shchara, and within the boundaries of the city leveled the sleeve of Shchara. The name of Oginsky is associated with the activities of the court theater, created around 1770. Professional Italian and Polish opera and drama actors, artists, serf choir and ballet worked in it. The Slonim orchestra (Capella), one of the largest court orchestras in Europe of that time, was widely known both for the number of performers (53 people) and for the availability of musical instruments.

In 1795, Slonim became part of Russia, after which it was a provincial town for a year. Since 1801, Slonim is the center of Grodno Province County. In 1880, the Baranavichi ‑ Warsaw road passed through Slonim, and in 1886 – the Baranavichy – Bialystok railway line, the railway station began to operate.

A major role in the development of industry in the city in the early 20th century was played by landowners Counts the Puslovskys, who opened a copper, carpet, sawmill, Alberta cloth factory in the suburbs of Albertin.

In 1915, Slonim became a front-line city, and on January 14, 1919, it was liberated by the Red Army from the Kaiser's troops. According to the Peace Treaty, Slonim together with other cities and districts of Western Belarus was transferred to Poland.

Terrible years of the Great Patriotic War were the most severe test for citizens of Slonim. Slonim district suffered huge losses – 44,418 citizens died in the war years. The remains of 5,223 soldiers and 108 partisans rest in the Slonim ground. Over 10 thousand people were shot dead on Petrulevich mount, over 30 thousand in Chepelevo fields, and around two thousand in the Morgi tract. In 1944, Soviet troops liberated the city from Nazi invaders.

Slonim district was formed in 1940, initially as part of the Baranavichi region, and in 1954 became part of the Grodno region. It is located at the crossroads of major highways and railways: Moscow-Minsk-Baranovichi-Brest, Baranovichi-Grodno, Minsk-Baranovichi-Grodno.

In the monumental architecture of Slonim, a prominent role belongs to religious buildings. Once they were part of the defense system of the city, and therefore, their location is associated with the main squares and streets, passing into country roads.

The Day of Belarusian Written Language holds a very prominent place in the cultural sphere of the nation. During the preparation, cities hosting the Holiday receive a new impetus in their development. Significant works on repair, reconstruction and restoration of buildings, streets and squares, renovation of housing, commissioning of social and cultural facilities, opening of monuments of architecture and art are carried out.

Every year thousands of guests from all over Belarus and abroad gather for the Holiday. Traditionally, the events of the Day of Belarusian Written Language are attended by heads of state administration, diplomatic missions of foreign states. The Festival program includes presentations of iconic publishing projects, performances of Belarusian and foreign writers and poets.

The Grand opening of the new bookstore and multifunctional smart pavilion of Belsoyuzpechat Company will take place. On the surrounding streets, festive trade will be organized. There will be festival of books and press, sites of folk artists, artists, children's camps, exhibitions of museums and libraries. Throughout the day, presentations of Belarusian publishing houses, performances of creative collectives of the youth of the region, other activities will take place.

The event will also mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus from Nazi invaders. Exhibition projects will be presented in Slonim by the National Library of Belarus, the State Literary and Memorial Museum of Yakub Kolas, the State Literary Museum of Yanka Kupala, the National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus, the State Museum of the History of Belarusian Literature.

During the festive day, open tournaments in athletics, volleyball, handball, mini-football, checkers and chess, demonstrations of young athletes in rhythmic gymnastics, Thai boxing, karate and judo will also take place.

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