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“Karghin Fair on Intercession Days” Broke All Records

10.10.2016

The literary ethnographical holiday “Karghin Fair on Intercession Days” held on October 9, was dedicated to the Year of Russian Cinema. This holiday managed to set several “records” at once. No wonder this holiday is included in the National Event Calendar as a part of a new complex strategy “Time to Rest in Russia”. For the guests the sunny October day of Karghin Fair provided recreation, entertainment and travelling back to the most interesting history of our forefathers.

Certainly, the main record was a great number of visitors, as the farmstead of T.A.Karghin was visited by residents and guests from the neighbouring districts of the Rostov, Voronezh, Volgograd regions and other parts of Russia – Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, the Krasnodar Territory, the Sverdlovsk and Yaroslavl regions. All in all there gathered nearly three thousand people. Many of them came with their families, friends and companions. They were happy to come, as there were a lot of things to look at, to buy, to wonder and enjoy!

Traditionally, the guests were welcomed and entertained with Cossack cuisine and shows of old household surroundings in makeshift Cossack kurens (houses) set up by Cossacks from the nearest villages. Karghin people won in the competition for the most hospitable kuren.

On that Sunday the Fair trade spread widely. You could buy from modern peddlers everything you like: souvenirs, decorations, many of which are handmade. Potters, woodcarvers and blacksmiths showed their mastery and gave master-classes. Old tea-rooms and cook shops welcomed the guests.

A kind of a record was the “old” photo studio. It was so popular, that the guests stood in a queue from the morning making it no shorter till the end of the holiday. The people are proved to be interested in the past life, its attributes and its elegant simplicity.

In the grain barn, a makeshift filming site, one could have a photo taken sitting in an armchair of the film director of the film “The Quiet Don”. Here, the cinema art lovers could give free rein to their fantasies.

An interesting feature of the holiday was an exhibition of kerosene lamps displayed by P.Soldatov, a collector of antiquities, where the visitors saw over 80 lamps made in different times, shapes and for different purposes. Among the exhibits there were prerevolutionary lamps, which were used in the latest filming of “The Quiet Don” by the film director S.Ursulyak.

What a great fun for children was to join various games and attractions: seesaw, teeterboard and roundabouts reconstructed according to old blueprints! Also, they tried “Giant Steps”, another old attraction, which is unusual and wonderful today.

The boys and girls took part in old active games, which young Cossacks played in their childhood. Now these games are very curious and attractive for children and adults.

A merry sharpshooting competition also attracted children: they threw rings to get on the long necks of plywood geese. One could try his luck in the old Fair lottery “Happy Feather”. Different master-classes attracted the visitors to paint wooden spoons, ceramic plates and glass, to make a funny Punch, decorations or a small bright mill.

“A Postcard from the Last Century” was an interactive class, where boys and girls wrote with an old metal pen and ink on an “old” postcard, which they on sticking the stamp on put into the letter-box to send “From Karghin Fair.With Love” to their relatives and friends in different parts of Russia.

The holiday makers of the Fair enjoyed pleasure boating along the River Chir, learned to walk on stilts, had a ride on horseback and in a horse-drawn carriage, enjoyed watching the strongman competitions and brave boys climbing up a smooth tall pole to get the prize suspended on the top.

The holiday public was welcomed and greeted by the members of the official delegation. One of them, A.M.Sholokhov, the former director of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov, now Deputy of the RF State Duma and President of the Russian ICOM, thanked all who took part in the reconstruction works of the famous Karghin Fair – museum workers and residents of Bokovskaya and Karghinskaya. He underlined: “We are glad to be gradually returning to our culture, to primordial and eternal values.”

Y.A.Pyatikov, Head of the Bokovsky District Administration, noted that the holiday in Karghinskaya, which was held for the third time, is very important for all the countrymen, especially for the younger generation.

A.A.Rezvanov, the Rostov Region Minister of Culture, greeted the guests on behalf of V.Y.Golubev, the Rostov Region Governor, and said: “It looks as if you have invented a time machine and sent all of us a hundred years back!”

In the Year of Russian Cinema, the homeland of M.A.Sholokhov was visited by the delegation of the public organization “The Fund of Alexander

Khanzhonkov”, which includes the members of the organizing committee for preparation of the 100th anniversary of Yalta Film Studio T.N.Omelchenko, Z.I.Zurza, Zh.Y.Tyunina and I.A.Orlova-Khanzhonkova, a granddaughter of the founder of the Russian cinema. Greeting the public Irina Alexandrovna remembered the well-known episode from the history of Russian cinema art, when her grandfather, early in the XX century, in the White Livadian Palace, for the first time demonstrated his film “Defence of Sebastopol”, it was given a standing ovation by the audience with Emperor Nicholas II at the head.

There was held an opening ceremony after reconstruction of the first (!) in the Upper Don cinematograph “Ideal”, which was famous even before the German war; it attracted near and far “clients” to the mill of enterprising T.A.Karghin. The white screen remembers pictures of the “great silent”, and the walls of “Ideal” heard the voice of young Mikhail Sholokhov, when he acted on stage in the plays and sketches written by him. It is here, where the first literary experiments by the would-be Nobel Prize winner took place. To open a new structure of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov and to cut a symbolic red ribbon was entrusted to A.M.Sholokhov, Y.A.Pyatikov, A.A.Rezvanov and I.A.Orlova.

On the Fair day, the restored cinema theatre started the run of the exhibition “Sholokhov’s Personages in Cinema” dedicated to the Year of Russian Cinema. The first visitors saw the unique exhibits telling about the history of filming Sholokhov’s works and fragments of the films made in the early XX century including the episodes made by “A.Khanzhonkov and Company”.

Traditionally, the holiday summed up the results of the competition for the best Cossack homestead in Stanitsa Karghinskaya. For preservation of the Upper Don architectural traditions the owners of the best homesteads were awarded letters of thanks and free visiting the structures of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov. The winner was awarded a prize of 20 thousand rubles.

A theatrical performance “Unusual Meeting on an Unusual Day” (the author –S.Gribanov and director – T.Galitsyna) showed humorous competitions of seven brides and seven grooms of the village, and the public determined the winners. So this jury included a record number of viewers!

The holiday makers enjoyed a concert performance including circus actors, Cossack song groups from Stanitsa Bokovskaya and the nearby villages. The holiday was a great success; it broke records of merry festivity and good humour, Fair trade and shopping, the number of games and competitions, songs and dances lasting for the whole day.

A Kochetov
T.Balak