Stunning Pomegranate Festival taking place in Goychay [PHOTO]
By Aygul Salmanova
Today is the first Saturday of November, which means that Goychay, the homeland of pomegranate, celebrates the 12th anniversary of one of the country's most loved festivals, the Pomegranate Festival.
The festival of pomegranate, organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan and the Executive Power of Goychay region, is distinguished not only by magnificent and original dishes from different sorts of pomegranate, but also by the extraordinary spirit of this national festival.
The two-day festival opened with a festive procession with the participation of music and dance groups. The festival of pomegranate is one of the most long-awaited and pleasant events in Azerbaijan. Goychay - pomegranate capital of Azerbaijan - every autumn blossoms with colors, pretties and looks forward to the guests.
Throughout the day, participants of the festival were able to see the exhibition demonstrating the production of pomegranate, participate in the opening ceremony of the pomegranate monument.
In addition, concert programs was organized with the participation of famous singers of the republic, excursions to the enterprises producing pomegranate products, performances of art groups, various competitions, etc.
On November 4, an exhibition and sale of pomegranates and products made of pomegranates will be organized. Additionally, a concert with the participation of local musicians will be held in addition to the demonstration of various hand-made works made of pomegranate.
In addition, the city stadium will host a match between the football teams "AzNar" and "Neftchi" for "Grenade Cup". The winner of the competition will be granted a cash prize of 10,000 manat, and the team that took the second place - 5,000 manats by "AzNar" CJSC.
Goychay, famous for its pomegranate orchards since the ancient times, was not accidentally chosen for the celebration of this festival. The pomegranate orchards of the region occupy 4,000 hectares area and from this area annually up to 50,000 tons of pomegranate are harvested.
Every year, about 40,000 tons of these fruits are harvested in the pomegranate orchards of Azerbaijan, which are then transported around the world. Still, the most delicious, fresh pomegranates and various dishes made of them can be tried only here - at the Pomegranate Festival in Goychay region.
The most famous sorts of pomegranate - "Veles", "Shirin", "Gulaysha", "Shikhbaba" - are represented in the festival.
Craftsmen, masters, artisans, potters, millers, blacksmiths, artists and dance groups, performances of athletes and folklore groups, drawings of children and paintings of artists, music, songs and dances for a long time remain in the memory of the guests.
Festive tables, bursting with the abundance of various dishes prepared with pomegranate, including pies, desserts, jams and salads, and even pizza, prepared according to a special recipe with the addition of pomegranate seeds, can amaze the most sophisticated gourmets.
And, of course, a lot of contests, for example, competition for the "title" of the largest pomegranate, the fastest eating of pomegranates and the ability to squeeze pomegranate juice.
In Azerbaijan, the pomegranate is consistently associated with fertility and strong health. This unique fruit has been used for centuries to heal different disorders in the entire body.
The juice of the pomegranate is not only tasty but also very healthy. It is helpful for diabetics and people who suffer from anemia.
The Azerbaijani climate, that has nine of eleven climatic zones, is perfect for pomegranate in the southern regions with mild winters and hot summers. The symbol of profusion, pomegranate has been cultivated in the country throughout centuries.
The most popular Azerbaijani sorts of pomegranates are Guloysha, Bala Mursal, Nazik gabig, Shah nar, Girmizi gabig, Shelli cross breeding, Girmizi valas Shahnaz, and Agshirin.
The attractive feature of the Azerbaijani pomegranates is its non-use of organic fertilizers.
Azerbaijan not only grows pomegranates, but also produces pomegranate juice for export. Another export product from pomegranate that is very famous beyond the country is juice concentrate Narsharab, which is used as a sauce to meat and fish.
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