Cucumber Day in Suzdal — this is a long-awaited summer holiday, which attracts guests from all over Russia. We visited the 20th anniversary Cucumber Festival in Suzdal, we are talking about everything: venue, tickets, program, atmosphere. How Suzdal became the cucumber capital of Russia and what's the price of the Cucumber Festival.
How Suzdal became the cucumber capital of Russia
Until this year, we, like most people, associated Suzdal with churches and monasteries, but not with cucumbers. How did it happen that the pearl of the Golden Ring of Russia became its cucumber capital?
Fabulous Suzdal: the breath of Ancient Russia Feel the atmosphere of cozy antiquity and explore the main sights of the museum city
Growing cucumbers in Suzdal began in the 12th-13th centuries, but the fashion for cucumbers came to the provincial town in the 18th century.
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Local historian Anania Fedorov wrote:
In Suzdal, due to the kindness of the earth and the pleasantness of the air, onions, horseradish, and especially cucumbers are abundant
In the 19th century, cucumbers occupied the third place in the ranking of the most popular garden crops in Suzdal, and after the invasion of the pest — onion midges, quickly pulled ahead. Suzdal townspeople-gardeners began to acquire hotbeds and greenhouses for growing cucumbers. The fertile soils of the Suzdal Opolye contributed to a good harvest.
The development of cucumber business in Suzdal was interrupted by the 1917 revolution. Persecution began on the artels of gardeners and gardeners, and by 1921 they were completely closed. The few who tried to sell cucumbers in the markets were pursued by the police.
The second dawn of the Suzdal cucumber came in the 60s of the last century. With the advent of cheap plastic wrap and light greenhouses, growing cucumbers has become very profitable. Entire families, including children, were involved in the cucumber business in Suzdal. During the season, on a regular plot of 6 acres, one could earn 2.5 — 5 thousand rubles — a huge amount for those times.
Not surprisingly, between the 1960s and 1980s, there were more cars per person in Suzdal than in Georgia. Personal transport was effectively used for a common cause. Suzdal gardeners learned how to grow early cucumbers, took them to neighboring cities & # 8212; Ivanovo, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, where they sold at crazy prices. It was during these times that the cucumber became a symbol of the city and the expression appeared: & # 171; Who has not been to Suzdal & # 8212; he didn't eat cucumbers».
In 2001, tourism in Suzdal decided to revive the former glory of the Suzdal cucumber, making it one of the city's gastronomic brands. Since then, the Cucumber Festival in Suzdal has become an annual event, and Suzdal is again called the cucumber capital of Russia.
Cucumber Day in Suzdal
The International Cucumber Holiday (Cucumber Day) is held in Suzdal every third Saturday of July, during the cucumber harvest. The Suzdal holiday-festival in 2015 became the winner of the national award «Russian event awards» in the nomination «Best event in the field of gastronomic tourism».
The Cucumber Festival takes place at the Museum of Wooden Architecture (28 Pushkarskaya Street), Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve. On the day of the festival, all the expositions of the museum are closed to the public, but the territory itself is interesting: old huts, mills, wooden churches. The entrance of visitors opens from 11:00 — one hour before the official start of the holiday.
Excursion to the Museum of Wooden Architecture Feel the charm of Russian antiquity and get acquainted with the life of Suzdal in the 19th century
In 2022, a standard ticket for the Cucumber Festival cost 500 rubles, 350 rubles — children aged 7-14, benefits for the disabled and large families, free of charge — children under 7 years old and residents of Suzdal (upon presentation of documents with registration at the place of residence). The ticket could be won by participating in competitions in the social networks of the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve.
Before starting, a long line lined up at the entrance to the Museum of Wooden Architecture. It was not necessary to stand. We scanned the QR code for online payment from the information board, showed the barcodes and received bracelet tickets at the entrance. Paper bracelets are worn on the hand and are valid all day long, you can enter and exit the territory as many times as you like.
Cucumber Holiday Program
The program of the cucumber festival is published in advance on the website of the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve, in social networks, on posters in the city, in hotels and many other places . The Cucumber Festival takes place one day from 12:00 to 19:00.
If you are going to Suzdal for the Cucumber Festival, then you need to take care of accommodation and transport in advance, otherwise you simply won’t get to it.
On the day of the Cucumber Festival, traffic is restricted on the roads of the city and the region. From 9:00 until the end of the event, the entrance to Suzdal from Vladimir is blocked (except for public and special transport). Buses Vladimir-Suzdal were stormed and many could not come because of this. The central streets of Suzdal are also closed all day, the traffic and parking schemes are published on social networks.
All hotels, guest houses and other places of residence in Suzdal are overcrowded on the penultimate weekend of July, when the Cucumber Festival is held.
The closest hotels to the cucumber festival venue are:
- Pushkarskaya Sloboda Hotel Complex — large, beautiful territory, several restaurants, a spa area, its own program for Cucumber DayKremlevskiy Hotel — free parking, good restaurantGuest houses and apartments in Suzdal on Sutochno ru
On the day of the Cucumber Festival in Suzdal, queues line up for all entertainment, regardless of their price: rental of catamarans and SUP-boards, a boat trip, a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Museums and restaurants are also not overcrowded. Therefore, if you want to come to Suzdal for a tourist purpose, it is better to choose other dates.
Suzdal crafts: master classes for adults and children Try your hand at pottery, blacksmithing, birch bark weaving or creating an old amulet
XX anniversary Cucumber Festival
XX Cucumber Festival was held in Suzdal on July 16, 2022 after two years of the pandemic. A lot of guests arrived, which was evident even the day before on Friday. We wanted to get to the grand opening at 12:00, so we went out early and did the right thing.
On the way to the Museum of Wooden Architecture, starting from the Kremlin Street, traffic jams formed. Nobody was in a hurry, everyone was distracted by souvenirs and tastings.
Cucumber Day 2022 in Suzdal turned out to be hot and sunny, so the first thing I bought after the entrance ticket — paper visor with cucumber for 50 rubles. Branded hats were sold from the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve & # 8212; a good idea to monetize the festival, every second guest was in them.
Before the start of the Cucumber Festival, it was possible to take pictures at photo points without a queue and have time to visit the stationary toilet, which we also took advantage of.
The solemn procession-opening began from the gates of the Museum of Wooden Architecture. The participants were happy to take pictures with everyone, I took a picture with the Fortuna Brass pop-jazz ensemble, which were at the very beginning. They were followed by flag bearers with 20 flags symbolizing the 20th anniversary of the Cucumber Festival. All were in holiday green. Dress brightly to make good photos!
The traditional host of all Cucumber Days in Suzdal led the costume procession — Konstantin Vasin (Sidor Ogurechnik). He handed out fresh cucumbers, congratulated and invited to the holiday. Together with him, this year's host was Svetlana Zeynalova.
The procession reached the main stage, where the festive program immediately began. There were benches in the clearing, but many brought their blankets and folding chairs and settled down in the shade on the grass. No one forbade anyone to bring their own food and drinks and arrange picnics — the atmosphere was as free as possible.
From 12:00 to 19:00, events followed one after another: performances by musical groups from different regions of Russia, fun competitions, games, master classes, and tastings. All this in one word can be called «folk festivals».
We looked at the opening, listened to several musical groups and went around the malls. The tents sold food and souvenirs. I bought a magnet «With love from Suzdal» for 200 rubles with two cucumbers hugging on a birch. I also liked the handmade wool brooches — from 500 rubles and cucumber jam in beautiful jars — 250 rubles from the farm restaurant. They say that it was Ivan the Terrible's favorite jam.
We bought the second unusual souvenir for 50 rubles at the entrance to the Museum of Wooden Architecture, where the Russian Post opened an exit branch. Everyone could send a limited edition postcard «Cucumber Holiday». My postcard arrived in Moscow in 6 days.
There was plenty of food at the festival: from kebabs to sweets, but cucumbers were especially popular. The prices for pickled and lightly salted cucumbers on Cucumber Day in Suzdal were simply amazing, they were sold individually or in portions.
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The most expensive salted cucumber I saw in Pushkarskaya Sloboda — 80 rub/piece. On the eve of the trading rows, they cost 20-30 rubles. Suzdal borage growers do not dump on holidays, they feed «one day a year». It is said that in the main holiday location — Museum of Wooden Architecture — prices are always twice as expensive as outside its walls. We didn't compare.
We did not succumb to the general excitement, tasted for free and bought fresh Suzdal cucumbers at 150 kg per kilo right at the house of a local gardener. Be vigilant — imported Krasnodar cucumbers are sold in the supermarkets of Suzdal!
Toward dinner we changed the situation, moving to the territory of the neighboring hotel complex Pushkarskaya Sloboda. There, the holiday began the night before, and the Saturday program was called «ART-Cucumber».
As it was written in the poster: «Come all without hesitation! No tickets required — present a good mood!» The event took place on the stage of the amphitheater, around which tents with food and tables were set up.
We took drinks and watched the performance of the folk group «Red Wives». Then a competition began, in which I won a brownie-amulet. Those who stayed at Pushkarskaya Sloboda could get to the evening music and dance program and see the fire show «Fried Cucumber».
While we were walking and having lunch outside the festival, a cucumber doll was launched into the sky in balloons. The lucky one who finds it was waiting for a prize (still looking for). We returned to the territory of the Museum of Wooden Architecture for the gala concert.
At 17:30, the famous pop singer, poet, composer, Honored Artist of Russia Vyacheslav Malezhik performed. If you think that the 75-year-old Malezhik has long been forgotten, you are wrong. As soon as he sang: «Provincial, provincial, and the escalator runs, but the escalator does not wait», everyone began to sing along and dance. Vyacheslav Malezhik sang «live» to the accompaniment of a guitar, it was very sincere.
Belfry of Suzdal with a bell ringer To learn the city legends of quiet streets and listen to the bells, admiring the panoramas
Folk singer Marina Devyatova closed the evening &# 8212; Ambassador of Russian culture in the countries of the world, with his team. It was already a different repertoire and sound.
Come to Suzdal for the Cucumber Festival to see how a small old town becomes the center of the Universe for one day, walk and have fun with everyone!