Festival of the Central-Asian folk crafts «Oriental Christmas»

3 December 2010

On the threshold of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the Central Asian folk crafts Festival «Oriental Christmas» will be held 3-5 December 2010 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The festival is part of the UNESCO/KOREAN funds-in-trust project “Creative industries development for the diversity of cultural expressions - strengthening the sustainability of crafts industry in Kazakhstan.

The Festival aims to encourage the use of traditional techniques and materials by craftspeople, the promotion and protection of cultural diversity in the region as well as to showcase crafts products to the public. More than 150 artisans from the countries of Central Asia will participate in this Festival.

The festival programme includes the awards ceremony and the exhibition for the crafts that will receive the «UNESCO Award of Excellence for Handicrafts» in Central Asia in 2010. Master classes will be conducted on three Kazakh traditional craft techniques, and the crafts fair itself will feature artisans from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Master classes will be conducted by well-known Central Asian artisans: Zhupar Beisenova (felt), «UNESCO Award of excellence» recipient and the winner of the Kazakhstani handicraft competition "Sheber-2010"; Zeinelhan Muhamedzhan (traditional Kazakh embroidery «biz keste»), «UNESCO Award of excellence» recipient, and Abai Rysbaev (ceramics). Visitors to the festival will be able not only observe the master artisans, but will also be able to play the role of "creator" by participating in these classes.

The special event will start on the 3rd of December at 4pm with the opening of the exhibition and the awards ceremony for winners of the UNESCO Award of excellence for handicrafts» in Central Asia – 2010. This year 27 works from 5 Central Asian countries will receive the Award: 8 from Kyrgyzstan, 1 from Turkmenistan, 2 from Tajikistan and 3 from Uzbekistan. In 2010, 13 Kazakhstani products will receive the award, a record achievement for Kazakhstani artisans!

The program of the festival:

3 December, 4pm:
  • Welcome ceremony, greetings: UNESCO, CACSA, museum, organizers, participants;
  • Awarding of winners with the “Award of Excellence” certificates;
  • Exhibition of the awarded works.
3-5 December:
  • Master classes on traditional Kazakh embroidery biz-keste, felt, ceramics (3-4 December);
  • Exhibition of awarded works (3-5 December);
  • Central-Asian crafts fair: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan (4-5 December).


Curators – Public Foundation “Our Heritage” and the center of arts and crafts "Bahyt" have been engaged in the aid to artisans programme for 15 years already.

Partners – UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and The Central Asian Crafts Support Association (CACSA).

The crafts fair will be open Saturday and Sunday (4-5 December 2010) from 10 am till 18 pm in the Central State Museum of Republic of Kazakhstan, located at Furmanov Str, 44.

Permanent link: http://en.unesco.kz/festival-of-the-central-asian-folk-crafts-oriental-christmas