Events

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Rostov jazz school is well known in Russia. A significant contribution to its formation was made by the composer, arranger and pianist Kim Nazaretov, the creator of the first Rostov jazz orchestra.

Nazaretov was the initiator and organizer of the All-Russian contest of variety jazz vocalists and the Don Jazz Festival of big bands, which were first held in Rostov in 1987. At the time, in addition to Russian musicians, bands from Germany and Poland took part in these gatherings.

The International Jazz Festival became the successor of these events and is held in Rostov annually since 2003. Each year it is dedicated to some event - the 75th anniversary of Nazaretov's birth, the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Rostov big band, the 20th anniversary of the first jazz festival in Russia and so on. Leading musicians of the city, including students and graduates of the local children's jazz school, as well as prodigies of national and world jazz - Georgiy Garanyan, Oleg Butman, Alex Sipyagin, Nikolai Goloshchapov, El Foster, Peter Beats, Dennis Rowland – perform and give master classes during the event. The festival traditionally takes place in autumn - in September or October.

Valery Matytsin/TASS

This popular city celebration was first organized more than a hundred years ago, in 1910, on the initiative of the Rostov horticultural society, with the support of the city authorities and famous Rostovites. A festive march, carrying flowers, flags and banners, accompanied by the orchestra, passed along the central streets of Rostov towards the outskirts, where the planting took place. As a result of this event more than ten thousand trees were planted.

This fine tradition was interrupted in 1914, with the outbreak of the First World War. A hundred years later, in 2010, on the initiative of local lore experts and business representatives, the holiday was revived and is now traditionally celebrated in Rostov-on-Don in spring or autumn. Colorful processions, in which anyone can take part, pass along the pedestrian Pushkinskaya Ulitsa (street). During the annual celebration several thousand seedlings are planted in the Botanical Garden, parks and the streets of Rostov.

Anton Butsenko/TASS

The barbeque festival is held in Rostov since 2002, has since become a favorite summer celebration for Rostovites.

Locals come here with the whole family to eat shish kebab and grilled sausages, see some of their old friends in line for kvass and beer, take part in culinary competitions and master classes, arm-wrestling and domino tournaments and, of course, listen to music in a good company.

The main stage of Don-Fest is usually occupied popular Rostov rock bands, and by nightfall comes the time of visiting celebrities. Organisers traditionally prefer rock bands and popular Russian musicians such as Moralny Codex, Bravo, Vyacheslav Butusov, Chaif and Nogu Svelo. However, in recent years, Don-Fest is starting to expand its musical horizons to include some bands of other genres.

Valery Matytsin/TASS

First tractor race time took place in the Rostov region in 2002, and by now the event has grown from fairground fun into a real sport with established rules, fans and considerable prizes.

Tractor drivers from all over the country take part in the competition, hailing from Sverdlovsk Region, Moscow Region, and, of course, the South of Russia - Stavropol, Rostov Region, Krasnodar Territory. The purpose of the tournament is to rapidly navigate an extremely difficult route with ground and underwater ramps, sharp turns, water and mud areas. Races on tractors is an unpredictable and brutal sight. Vehicle contact is allowed here: it is considered a faux-pas to yield to a rival at these competitions .

Year by year, the number of participants and spectators at the Bison Track Show is increasing - in 2016 it was visited by about 40 thousand people.

Mikhail Mordasov/TASS

Traditional Cossack competitions, called shermicii, were revived in the Don region in 2009. In 2010 they were included in the Register of National Sports and are now the national sport of the Rostov Region.

The festival grew out of an ancient rite, the purpose of which was to prove that a boy has become a man, a true warrior. The first mention of the shermicii was dated to the middle of the 16th century.

Modern shermicii program includes all the traditional elements: participants compete in sword and pike fencing, fist fights and wrestling. Separate and perhaps the most spectacular part competitions is the so-called dzhigitovka, which includes racing, cutting down stationary and moving targets from a horse and horseback archery.

Not only the Cossacks from the Don take part in the shermicii, but also members of the Cossack organizations of the Terek, the Kuban and the Urals. In addition to warrior competitions, the audience is offered a national costume contest, master classes on using Cossack weapons and dishes of Cossack cuisine at the traditional fair.

Valery Matytsin/TASS

Tanais archaeological museum-reserve is one of the postcards of the Rostov region. It was created on the site of the remains of an ancient city, founded in the 3rd century BC. Tanais was one of the northernmost colonies of the ancient Greek civilization. In the Middle Ages here stood fortresses of the Venetians and Genoese, and before becoming part of the Russian Empire this land was under the rule of the Turks.

Since 2008, a theater show has been held on the territory of the museum-reserve. Visitors can watch the historical reconstruction of the Pythian or Olympic Games - a contest of crafts and arts, competitions of athletes - take part in quizzes, poetry readings, theatrical improvisations and musical performances, tastings and competitions.

Artur Lebedev/TASS

One of the largest cultural events of the Rostov region, the International Chekhov Book Festival was held for the first time in the writer's homeland, in the city of Taganrog, in 2006. The organizers stated their goal as attraction of public attention to the work of the great Russian writer and playwright Anton Chekhov. They also strive to popularize reading among teenagers and young people.

Master classes, creative workshops and meetings with popular Russian writers and illustrators, poetry readings, art exhibitions, performances of classical and modern theatres are held during the Chekhov Festival. Throughout the years, the festival's guests included writers Denis Dragunsky and Pavel Basinsky, animator Garri Bardin, composer Grigory Gladkov, actors Leonid Yarmolnik, Alexander Filippenko and Svetlana Kryuchkova.

The festival is the life of the whole Taganrog during its days. Festive events are held in parks, theatres, libraries, schools and even kindergartens.

Egor Aleyev/TASS

The International Kayal Readings festival is held since 2002 in the Belokalitvinsky district of the Rostov region. Here, on the territory of the Pogorelov Khutor, according to one theory, in 1185 a historic battle took place between the Novgorod Prince Igor and the Polovtsi.

The readings are actually not just readings: guests are offered performances, depicting the battle of Igor's troops with nomads, folklore and variety music concerts. You can try your hand at The Tale of Igor's Campaign reading contest, as well as in master classes of folk handicrafts, national costume contest and Kayaly Bogatyrs athletic contest.

Participation in the Kayal Readings became a tradition for dozens of folklore groups in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Valery Matytsin/TASS

Finding yourself in Starocherkasskaya village in late August you not just see the sights of the ancient Cossack capital, but also enjoy the vocal and dance art of Cossack folklore groups from all over Russia.

“Nothing Freer Than the Quiet Don” is a long-lived festival. It was held in 1985 for the first time. After 30 years, the famous "Song Glades" are still going strong - in 2015 more than fifty bands from Rostov and Voronezh regions, Stavropol and Krasnodar regions, and from Ukraine took part in the Cossack culture festival.

The festival has other entertainment besides music. Guests can look at the exhibition of arts and crafts, stroll through the folk craft fair called City of Masters and take part in cooking and, of course, eating dishes of traditional Cossack cuisine.

Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

Festivals and celebrations, dedicated to a particular vegetable culture, have long been common in Russia. Bagaevsky cucumber, one of the food brands of the Rostov region and a welcome guest on the tables of Rostovites, received a holiday in his honor not so long ago, in 2012.

On the day of the holiday from the very morning, the village of Bagaevskaya is painted in all shades of the favorite vegetable, and noisy fairs are scattered across city squares. There you can buy potatoes, tomatoes, onions, watermelons, honey and other produce grown in Don region. And, of course, cucumbers are sold in all kinds - big and small, fresh and salted, pickled, preserved in spirit, sweet cucumbers and even cucumber jam.

Those who are looking for more than just gastronomic impressions are in for a treat – there are contests of songs, poems and chastooshkas (couplets) about the cucumber and, naturally, performances of folklore groups.