Customs and Traditions of Belarus
Population and religion
According to Countryaah, most of the population of Belarus are Slavs: Belarusians (about 84%), Russians (more than 8%), Poles (3%), Ukrainians (almost 2%). Jews also live in the country (0.1%).
More than half of the country’s inhabitants (almost 60%) identify themselves as belonging to some religious denomination. Of the believers, about 82% consider themselves Orthodox, 12% Catholics, 4% Muslims and Hindus, 2% Protestants (including varieties of Protestantism) and Old Believers.
The official languages in Belarus are Belarusian and Russian. The Belarusian language belongs to the Slavic group, the East Slavic subgroup of languages, and is related to the Russian language.
In business communication, English, German and Russian are widely used.
Patriarchal traditions, communality and family values that have developed over the centuries have had a great influence on the national character of the Belarusians. Belarusians are good-natured, responsive and prone to mutual assistance; among them it is customary to treat elders and the interlocutor with special respect. The customs of mutual trust are reflected even in business etiquette. In addition, it is believed that the inhabitants of this country are characterized by endurance and perseverance. Belarusians know how to defend their views. Check agooddir for recent history of Belarus.
Features of the Belarusian mentality are close and understandable to other East Slavic peoples.
Rules of conduct for tourists
Rules of conduct in an Orthodox church
There are many Orthodox churches in Belarus that are of interest to tourists. It should be remembered that to visit an Orthodox church, you should choose clothes with your hands and knees covered. Modesty in dress and general appearance is encouraged. Women at the entrance to the temple must cover their heads with a scarf or scarf, while men, on the contrary, must remove their hats. In an Orthodox church, you cannot stand with your back to the altar, walk and talk during the service.
It is better to inspect the interior of the church decoration after the service.
The common address for a clergyman is “father”.
Rules of conduct for tourists when visiting the memorial complexes “Mound of Glory” and “Khatyn”
When visiting excursions to these memorable places, it is prohibited:
- step on marble slabs and lawns;
- take pictures without permission.
Memorable dates and national holidays of Belarus
January 1 – New Year
January 7 – Orthodox Christmas
February 15 – Day of Remembrance of Soldiers-Internationalists
April 26 – Day of the Chernobyl tragedy
March 8 – International Women’s Day
March 15 – Constitution Day of Belarus (valid since 1994)
May 1 – Workers’ Solidarity Day
May 9 – Victory Day
June 22 – Day of national memory of those killed in the Great Patriotic War
July 3 – Independence Day of Belarus, the liberation of the country from German occupation
December 25 – Catholic Christmas
Among the festivals are the International Festival of Classical Music “January Musical Evenings”, held in Brest, the Poetry Festival, which is organized in June on Lake Svityaz, the National Festival “Belarus is My Song”. In July, the City Day of Minsk, the International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” are especially widely celebrated. In the summer, many people come to join the Festival of medieval culture “The Sword of Lutsk Castle” in Lubart’s castle, to the Belarusian rock festival “Basovishche”. In autumn, the International Theater Festival, the Belarusian Musical Autumn, organized in the capital, as well as the festival of folk classical music and dance are popular. in winter the country celebrates traditional carols and the festival of arts “Christmas fun”.