Festivals of Uzbekistan: immersion into an oriental tale. International Festival “Silk and Spices”

International Festival "Silk and Spices"

In Uzbekistan, annually many festivals, dedicated to the city, the traditions and customs of the nation are held.

The most popular festivals in Uzbekistan are:
“SILK AND SPICES” INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL (Bukhara)
“SHARK TARONALARI” (MELODIES OF THE EAST) INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL (Samarkand)
“MAGIC OF DANCE” INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL (Khiva)
“BOYSUN BAKHORI” (BAYSUN SPRING) INTERNATIONAL FOLKLORE FESTIVAL (Baysun)


Each of these festivals has its own uniqueness, and every year millions of eyes delight and warm the hearts of many people. Today we want to tell you about the Silk and Spices festival.

The “Silk and Spices” Festival is an annual holiday held in Bukhara, a city on the Great Silk Road. Thousands of years ago caravans loaded with silk and spices went from China to Europe, passing through mountain passes and lifeless deserts, stopped in blooming oases. Bukhara was one of those cities through which the trade route from East to West necessarily passed. In addition, the best masters of pottery, minting, carpet weaving, gold embroidery and other crafts lived here.

At the beginning of the 21st century, thanks to the efforts of the “Uzbekturizm” national company, the Bukhara City Hall, and the “Khunarmand” Artisans Association, the first “Silk and Spices” festival was organized to revive the cultural heritage of the Great Silk Road and show the richness of the traditions of local craftsmen. The idea turned out to be so good that the festival became an annual event, and each time attracted more and more tourists. By tradition, the festival takes place several days in late May – early June.

Parade in the historical center of Bukhara
Parade in the historical center of Bukhara

The international festival “Silk and Spices” is one of the oldest festivals in Uzbekistan. The festival is traditionally held annually since 2001 in the ancient and beautiful Bukhara in late May.

At the festival “Silk and Spices” you will find yourself in the world of oriental tales. The festival begins in the center of Bukhara near Lyabi House with an enchanting procession that takes the audience into the world of Central Asian legends. In a colorful parade in the historical center of Bukhara, hundreds of citizens in national costumes, artists, dancers, acrobats, wrestlers and musicians performing national holiday melodies participate. Units of medieval warriors are lining up near the walls of the Ark fortress, and caravans of camels and horses pass along the street connecting the trading domes of Bukhara. All this creates the impression of a journey a thousand years ago.

Ikat fabrics on the festival fair
Ikat fabrics on the festival fair
Spices presented on the festival “Silk and Spices”
Spices presented on the festival “Silk and Spices”

Along with folklore performances, throughout the several days of the Silk and Spices festival, a fair and sale of oriental spices takes place everywhere, where you can buy handicrafts, various souvenirs, spices, seasonings and, of course, many Uzbek artistic silk and cotton fabrics, khan-atlas, adras, ikat and silk scarves. And this makes deep sense, since as early as 2000 years ago the Great Silk Road passed here, the main goods of which were silk fabrics and spices. On the territory of historical monuments, a variety of workshops are organized by artisans of Bukhara and other regions of Uzbekistan. Folk games will be presented at the fortress walls of the ancient Arch: rams and cockfights, rope walking, etc. Along with this, various conferences are held during the festival dedicated to the history, culture and preservation of the traditions of Uzbekistan.

Silk scarves
Silk scarves


The Silk cultural program includes thematic performances, music concerts, ethno-fashion shows, handicraft workshops and traditional Uzbek folk crafts shows (carpet weaving, embroidery, pottery, jewelry and blacksmithing, embossing, miniature and calligraphy art, gold embroidery etc.), held on the territory of the largest historical monuments of the city, as well as scientific conferences on the study of the history and traditions of Uzbekistan.

“Silk and Spices” festival
“Silk and Spices” festival


The Silk and Spices festival traditionally ends with a big concert in the legendary Poi Kalyan architectural ensemble, where you can hear all the richness of Uzbek folk music.

If you are planning a trip to Uzbekistan and want to not only see the magnificent eastern city, but also immerse yourself in the world of fairs and craft workshops, then you should choose the last days of May. More precisely, next year the festival will be held from May 30 to May 31.