By Nigar Orujova
The traditional "Gala Festival" and the 3rd International "From Waste to Art" exhibition were held in the State Historical-Ethnographic Reserve "Gala" on May 30.
The events were attended by President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva, Vice-president of the Foundation Leyla Aliyeva, and Arzu Aliyeva.
Organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Gala Festival was aimed to preserve and promote the rich history and ancient traditions of the Azerbaijani people.
Gala settlement that dates back five thousand years ago has historic and cultural monuments of different periods - from the third millennium BC to the twentieth century.
Visitors of the festival were able to make a trip to the historical past and get familiar with the uniqueness of Gala.
As part of the festival, the third international exhibition "From Waste to Art" was held by the Temiz Sheher company with the support of the IDEA Public Association, and Icherisheher state historical and architectural reserve, and art gallery "Gallery".
The main objective of the exhibition is to distract people from wastefulness and the habit of carelessly throwing everything away.
Along with Azerbaijani artists, works ofU.S., Australian, the UK, Dutch, Spanish, Turkish, Czech, Cuban, Columbian and Japanese art masters were put on display at the festival.
Artists created interesting and instructive works from simple and useless materials such as metal, paper, plastics, rubber products, and waste materials.
The participants, "re-renewing" unnecessary things in the original artworks, tried to inspire the visitors.
The First Lady got familiarized with the exhibits, exchanged views with the artists and wished them successes.
Mehriban Aliyeva, Leyla Aliyeva and Arzu Aliyeva also got familiarized with the camp of "EkoSfera" Social-Ecological Centre and visited the camps organized within the framework of Gala Festival.
EkoSfera organization developed interactive learning programs, cultural and environmental programs for children and youth for the first time in Azerbaijan.
During the tours of the organization, children and youth live the rural life close to nature, get acquainted with the national and spiritual values, crafts, folk songs and dances, local customs and traditions and participate in a traditional rural work, national holidays and festivals.
The festival, held on the eve of June 1 - International Children's Day, became a real folk festival.
Children on special trains toured through the reserve, visited the horse arena, watched performances of ropewalkers, and participated in various games.
During the festival, every corner of the ancient settlement served one purpose - to entertain the children, inform them about the rich history, culture, customs and traditions of Azerbaijan through games and staged performances.
The festival also presented the works of artists in the tradition of pottery and blacksmithing before the eyes of the visitors.
Art works of children were also presented at the festival that was also attended by children from Astrakhan region of Russia, Pakistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, pupils of schools built in these countries at the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Some 3,000 children from secondary schools and boarding schools, orphanages of the country, families of refugees and IDPs attended the festival.