There are 85 regions in Russia, and each of them has its own exclusive folk crafts. However, to be acquainted with them, there is no need to travel around the country. Every year, one of the biggest exhibition complexes in Moscow “Expocenter” hosts LADYA, the annual exhibition of national crafts of Russia. More than 1500 participants from different corners of the country come together in Moscow to participate in a grand event, present and sell their unique items.
As soon as someone enters the space of LADYA, the exhibition of national crafts of Russia, the beauty of the folk crafts takes one's breath away. It is a wonder that they are the peasants who created those styles long ago. Folk crafts trace its roots to the tradition of decorating homes. They brightened the furniture, utensils, children’s toys with ornaments to protect their life from chaos, darkness and evil. They turned the ordinary things like the vessels, cradles, sledges and toys into the artworks.
In old times, peasants used the materials, that they found in abundance in their region – wood, clay, stone or metal. Exhibited items of traditional crafts are also made of different materials and in different techniques. You can see and buy globally known Russian folk crafts, like red-gold-black Khokhloma painting, miniature lacquer painting from Palekh, Gzhel art pottery reminding winter-frozen window. Maybe less known, but not less beautiful are Torzhok golden-stitch embroidery, Rostov enamels, Elets lace and many others.
Talented artists interested in folk crafts continue to search for their own style. They develop the traditions and create modern jewelry, kitchen vessels and designer clothes. Handmade things always create an inimitable personal image. Many exhibition items are unique and useful in everyday life.
Russia is a multi-national state with over 190 ethnic groups, including the nationalities with their own national territory. The exhibition became a real encyclopedia of different cultures. The delegates present their folk costumes, crafts and ethnic souvenirs. Geographically separated by a distance of hundreds of kilometers, they stay side by side at the exhibition - Kubachi silver and Udmurtiya embroidery, Dagestan daggers, Bashkiria honey and Yakutiya jewelry.
The visitors of the exhibition can see how the artisans create their items. Those who are inspired, both children and adults, can participate in the workshops and create a souvenir with their own hands. Usually, the facilitators offer to make a clay pot, or a clay toy, or an amulet doll, paint a tray or a toy, weave a belt or bake a honey-cake. A special area for the workshops is called “the Craftsmen City”. On the stage, the folk groups from different regions perform folk music, songs and dances.
LADYA Russian Folk Crafts Fair in Moscow is held twice a year - “Winter Fairytale” at the end of December and “Spring Fantasies” at the beginning of March. For a few hours, you can ‘visit’ different regions of Russia, get to know their traditional arts, and enjoy the unique beauty of ethnic cultures. If you visit the winter exhibition, don’t forget to whisper your New Year's wish to the main magician of the Russian New Year - Grandpa the Frost (Ded Moroz) and get a souvenir from his granddaughter, snow-girl called Snegurochka.
Like this story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.