Medieval children's playground and First Class fights: How else Great Bolgar festival surprises us in 2016
(July 25, Tatar-Inform, Maxim Kirilov). From August 13 to 14, the Bolgar historical and architectural museum-reserve will host a national festival of medieval fights, the Great Bolgar, with participation of Russian and international clubs of historical reconstruction. Aleksey Kokurin, the head of the festival’s organizing committee, has told Tatar-Inform more about this large-scale event.
This year's festival, the Great Bolgar, got a new name. Earlier, it was called historic, but this year we are talking about the festival of medieval fights. Why has the name been changed?
A. K.: The festival has stayed a historic event. It has changed its name for the third time, but the essence remains the same. Medieval battles are in the heart of our festival, with the focuses on fighting, hiking and horseback riding. Everything is real and tough enough. Previously, it was called the national festival of historical reconstruction. In fact, we decided to focus on battling as term “historic” had caused a variety of claims from specialists and historians. This year, we focus exclusively on medieval battles, making a major bet on them. Therefore, we will hold a lot of tournament events - more than ten. In particular, we are presenting quite rigid nomination FirstClass. Medieval battle plays a crucial part in the festival. This is professional fight in armors weighting 25-60 kg, depending on the category of the tournament.
Fighters of what regions will take part in the festival?
A.K.: We expect extensive geography this year. A lot of fighters are coming from Siberia (Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Kurgan), the Urals and the North West of the country (Saint-Petersburg, Tver, Vologda). The FirstClass event will gather about 70 participants. It is pretty large number for the festival, as far as not every sporting event gathers so many fighters.
The program also claims horse fights. Tell us about it in more detail.
A.K.: This is our distinctive feature. We will present a horse battle "five versus five" for the first time in Russia. Spectators have been watching foot soldiers fights "ten versus ten" for several years. Here, they will see mounted detachments, hitting each other with real weapon. Their armor is of higher class than those who fight by foot, which make the event more spectacular.
What ages will be presented at the festival?
A.K.: By tradition, we present three regions: the Golden Horde, Russia and Europe. The European camp is larger due to the fact that European armor is lighter and provide better protection, so participants prefer it. Although, fighters in armor of the Golden Horde and Russia will also attend the events in sufficient quantities. There are even some clubs that basically put these or other armor. It will be mostly costumes of the 13th-15th centuries which give the highest safety for human body.
How traumatic are these fights?
A. K .: To compare our festival with others, it turns to be very hard, but less traumatic. During our recent trip to Vyborg, we saw people were carried out on hands after fights. The same things happened at the championships in Moscow, where ambulance crews picked up the fighters after each fight with a difference of five to ten minutes. People are getting very dangerous whilst fighting for the victory. Our medics have been working at the festival for the third conservative year, successfully coping with their tasks.
What other schtick of the festival are?
A.K.: We have prepared a few schtick. One of the main is a medieval children's playground, a medieval "Children's World", as we call it. This is a separate fenced area of a stylized palisade. All games there will repeat medieval games. Professional educators, historians, animators will engage and play with children. Another innovation closed from all guests is a guided tour around the festival. Organized groups of people will be able to attend a two-hour walk. They will get to the closed space, hidden from other people. For example, they will visit a historic camp, where they can touch things, see how tents are built, men dressing up and so on. Nobody has done this before.
You expect 35 thousand visitors this year. Are there available overnight satying places for all guests at the festival?
A.K.: Everything is well with this. Technical provision in Bolgar is at a high level thanks to the Spassky region and the museum-reserve. There are toilets, cafes, places of overnight stays available in sufficient quantities. It is impossible to come and stay at a hotel now as rooms have been fully booked since the winter. The only thing that we can offer is to come and stay in a stationary tent camp, which is located two kilometers from the center for two thousand people, or just put your own tent. We provide a special area where you leave a car and another one where you can put up a tent. The cost of accommodation in your own tent and stationary tents amounts to 300 rubles.
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