Festival of the RGS - 2019

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The most exciting and large-scale geographical festival returns to Moscow!
The IV Festival of the Russian Geographical Society will be held in the Zaryadye park on September 13-22, 2019. Guests of the event, without leaving the city, will be able to get acquainted with the diverse nature of Russia and the cultural heritage of the peoples of the country from morning to evening during ten days. Festival visitors will learn how to travel around the regions of Russia in an exciting and accessible way.

The festival program includes lectures by famous scientists and travelers, creative meetings with photographers and cinematographers, master classes in dancing, playing musical instruments and decorative arts, performances by national ensembles from all over Russia, film screenings of documentaries, intellectual games and quizzes with prizes.

Festival Program


Guests of the III Festival of the Russian Geographical Society in the Central House of Artists in Moscow. Photo: press service of the RGS
Guests of the III Festival of the Russian Geographical Society in the Central House of Artists in Moscow. Photo: press service of the RGS

The Urals and Bashkiria themed days will be held at the Festival the culture of the regions will be presented by music and dance ensembles from Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Tyumen and Ufa. In addition, folk ensembles from the Kursk, Ryazan, Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Lipetsk, Tomsk regions and Karelia will perform on the stage. Visitors to the Festival will enjoy truly unusual performances. For example, the "Perezvony" orchestra will perform hits of foreign music on Russian folk instruments.

Street installations will appear on the territory of the Zaryadye park during the festival. Dwellings of the peoples of Russia will be located there: chum, yurt, yaranga, urasa, and a modern traveler's house - geo-dome.  Guests of the festival, for example, will learn that the Yakut urasa is the oldest frame dwelling. Or, for example, during the construction of the Kuban hut, shreds of pet hair and feathers of poultry are thrown into the foundation, so that the household would be prosperous.


The Nenets next to the chum. Photo: Denis Knyazev
The Nenets next to the chum. Photo: Denis Knyazev

Lovers of deep-sea exploration will be glad to see the stylized underwater vehicle "Batiskaf", which will "plunge" the guests of the holiday to the bottom of Lake Baikal and the White Sea.  Visitors to the park will see an angelfish that lives only in the northern seas, and they will also see the Baikal seal.


Baikal seal. Photo: Andrey Sidorov
Baikal seal. Photo: Andrey Sidorov

Guests will see the reconstruction of the whaleboat of White of the 19th century.  Its design provided for special compartments that were filled with cork, so that the ship became almost unsinkable - even completely filled with water, it remained afloat with the crew and passengers.

Through the "travel doors" installed in the park, it will be possible to take virtual tours to the most interesting places in Russia along with the best guides of the country, finalists of "The Best Guide of Russia" contest. You will only need to ring the doorbell to go to the Crimea, Stavropol Territory or Karelia.

“There is such a profession - to make people fall in love with Kizhi”, says Marina Nozhenko, an employee of the Kizhi Museum, winner of the 2018 contest in the “Best Guide. Museum" category. - Participation in the competition gave me the opportunity to tell a large audience about my favorite place on Earth. I have been working as a guide for many years, but I never imagined that I could compete in excursion business. Now, many more tourists began to sign up for my excursions, and it’s because of the competition".

The interactive attraction "Russia - 360°" will work for the guests of the holiday. Once inside the attraction, everyone will be able to watch 360 degree videos shot in the most interesting places in Russia specially for the festival. It will also be possible to see the nature reserves of our country in the VR-cinema.

Employees of the Sakha Academy of Sciences (Yakutia) will bring to the festival, to the ice cave of "Zaryadye", mummified cave lion cubs – Boris and Spartacus, whose age is 43 thousand and 28 thousand years, respectively.  Scientists, on many occasions, found individual bones and traces of these cats. However, fully preserved bodies of these animals is a sensational find. The main reason the lion cubs were so well-preserved is permafrost of the coldest region of the country – Yakutia.


Studies of cave lion Boris. Photo courtesy of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)
Studies of cave lion Boris. Photo courtesy of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

 "We assume that after the birth of the cubs the mother hid them in a hole or a small cave, and while she went hunting, the cubs were crushed, they were in an airless environment and thus mummified. Adult cave lions usually died in fights or while hunting on the ground, and their bones being, unlike mammoth's, lighter and more flexible, dissolved faster. But carcasses of lion cubs were preserved in excellent condition," – said the employee of the Department of mammoth fauna of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Valery Plotnikov.

In addition, mammoth Yuka, who died about 34 thousand years ago, will be brought from Yakutia to the festival will. A number of scientists believe that Yuka is best preserved of all the remains of mammoths found to date. Most of soft tissue, as well as fur and even brain, remained almost intact. Deep marks from the claws of predators were found on the skin of Yuka. The excellent degree of preservation of animal remains allows scientists to make the most daring plans, for example, to clone a mammoth.


Mammoth Yuka. Photo: press service of the RGS
Mammoth Yuka. Photo: press service of the RGS

"The mammoth Yuka can be described with the phrase "for the first time in the world" on many different occasions. The scientists discovered that Yuka has a mostly intact brain - so far this is the only found zoolith's brain in the world; and an extension on its trunk was discovered that allowed mammoths to collect snow for drinking in the winter when water bodies froze. This is the first known baby mammoth aged 6-8 years. All other baby mammoths are about a year old. Now there is a reconstruction of the death of Yuka, we finally prepared the evidence base showing that he was killed by cave lions and then cut up by people", says head of the Department of the Mammoth Fauna Study of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), doctor of Biological Sciences Albert Protopopov.

Also, the paleontological tent will be set up in Zaryadye. Skeletons of prehistoric animals that lived in Russia will be brought there from the Vyatka paleontological Museum. In particular, there you will see the skeletons of pareiasaurus,   dicynodont   and   gorgonopsian of the Permian,   skull of the cave bear and saber-toothed tiger.


The skeleton of a gorgonopsian. Photo: Vyatka Paleontological Museum
The skeleton of a gorgonopsian. Photo: Vyatka Paleontological Museum

For those who are interested in space, the partner of the festival Roscosmos will open an exhibition that will feature a mock-up of the "Angara-A5P" launch vehicle and the Orlan cosmonaut suit, developed in the USSR for a safe stay in outer space will be showed.


Spacesuit "Orlan". Photo: Roscosmos
Spacesuit "Orlan". Photo: Roscosmos

So, the historical exposition, created on the basis of rare materials of the Scientific archive of the Russian Geographical Society, will tell about the expeditionary life of the great Russian travelers Pyotr Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky, Nikolay Przhevalsky, Gombozhab Tsybikov, Nikolay Miklukho-Maklay, Georgiy Sedov and others. The guests will get acquainted with all the stages of the expeditions - the search for funding, movements in difficult places, arrangement of sites, funny stories during the communication of researchers with the local population. There will be exhibited original photographs, drawings, diaries of travelers, as well as their camp costumes.

Э.В. Толль в избе. Фото из Научного архива РГО

Visitors of the festival will get acquainted with the "Map of Siberia from the Chinese borders" of 1698, existing in a single copy. According to the decree of Peter I it was made by the cartographer Semyon Remezov. The map has been saved – until the beginning of the XX century it was in the Ekaterinhofsky Palace, and then was transferred to the Russian Geographical Society, which decided to exhibit it in the state Hermitage. Remezov's work reflected such an abundance of detailed historical and geographical information about Siberia of the XVII century that it gained worldwide fame.

Guests will see the best pictures of landscapes, peoples, wild animals of Russia at the photo exhibition "The Most Beautiful Country"- there will be the works of the finalists and winners of the RGS photo contest. The geography of the shooting covers most regions of our country. Many shots were taken in hard-to-reach places in protected areas.

 пресс-служба РГО

Guests will also see a unique collection of sculptures by Dashi Namdakov, dedicated to the cultures, peoples and civilizations of Russia. Buryat artist Dashi Namdakov preserves national traditions, but presents them in a new, avant-garde style. Dashi's exhibitions are held all over the world. He was the art director of Sergei Bodrov Sr.'s film " Mongol" and received the "Nika" and "Golden Eagle" awards for this work. Dashi Namdakov's new collection will be exhibited in the space of the media center. It has already received high marks from international critics, who considered the collection revolutionary.


Photo: Dashi Namdakov
Photo: Dashi Namdakov

The area of tour operators will work at the festival. If you have always dreamed of seeing the powerful waterfalls of the Putoran plateau, visiting the reindeer herders of Chukotka, watching whales, sea lions and killer whales in Kamchatka, than the best travel industry experts, including the official partners of the Russian Geographical Society, will help you to find the most interesting and unusual tour.

 Татьяна Ивкович

In addition, a fair will open in the Zaryadye park. Souvenirs, national clothes, interior items and much more will be brought there from all regions of our country. For example, at the fair you can buy products from mammoth ivory, Yelets lace, Russian wooden toy, candy with pine nuts and more.

And the menu of the restaurant "Voshod" and the Zaryadye Gastro Center will have a special dishes from different regions of Russia. So, there you can try oysters and sea urchins, khachapuri and Ossetian pies, Ural pelmeni and cod with ginger.

“The festival will present almost all corners of our country, all ethnic groups, nationalities. There will be the widest exposition in today's exhibition activities of various tour operators. People can hardly find a tourism event larger than this one”, said President of the RGS Sergey Shoigu.