By Aygul Salmanova
Each fall, a traditional Pomegranate Festival dedicated to the harvesting of pomegranate, “king of all fruits”, takes place in picturesque region of the country Goychay.
Bright juicy fruit has firmly become a symbol of Azerbaijan. A symbol of profusion, the pomegranate has been cultivated in different regions across the country.
The pomegranate is a unique fruit, and Azerbaijan is the only country in the world where all sorts of pomegranate grow. Goychay, also known as “pomegranate paradise” has developed some 70 variations of this delicious fruit, has long been considered its homeland.
For over 11 years on the first Saturday of November, which is the very month when pomegranate is ripen and has perfect taste Goychay, located in the heart of the country, has hosted famous Pomegranate Festival.
The preparatory work for the 12th Pomegranate Festival scheduled for November 3-4 with the joint organizational support of the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Goychay City Executive Power are almost completed.
While the previous festivals were held at the Heydar Aliyev park and the city stadium, this year the festival is planned to be held at Goychay Wholesale Center in Jayirli village and in front of the Children’s Music School.
The organizers promise this year’s Pomegranate Festival will differ considerably from the previous years with its richness and magnificence. A number of innovations will be presented to the festival participants. Thus, different tourism companies will organize tours in Baku at discounted prices to Goychay.
Tourists will be able to get acquainted with the sightseeing places of Goychay by means of comfortable vehicles, participate in the festive event and get the opportunity to view and buy quality pomegranate fruits of different sorts and various products made from them.
The official part of the event will be launched in the city center on November 3 at 11:00 am. Then, national music, mugham and folklore samples, various contests, colorful exhibits, different delicious meals from Azerbaijani cuisine and all sorts of pomegranate products will be presented within the festival.
There will also be the opening of the "Nar" (pomegranate) monument and "The Most Beautiful Pomegranate Girl" contest. Guests will visit pomegranate enterprises of the region. The event will be accompanied by performances of famous artists of the country and fireworks.
Different sorts of pomegranates and products made of them, pomegranate artistic compositions, national folklore samples, entertaining competitions and sales fair will be held on November 4 in Goychay Wholesale and Trading Center.
Guests will be able to taste pomegranate juice, pomegranate wine, pomegranate jam, peppermint, and garnished pomegranate.
In addition, gardeners will bring their biggest fruits of the pomegranate to the festival. It turns out that this fruit can reach a very impressive size. A fruit weighing 1.5 kg was presented at one of the festivals.
Goychay's pomegranates have gained international recognition as the true Azerbaijani pomegranates. The secret of the magnificent taste and quality of the Goychay pomegranates is unique microclimate and fruitful soil.
The city has some 4,000 hectares area of pomegranate gardens in this region, where 50,000 tons of pomegranates are harvested each year.
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.
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.
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