Celebrated every year in the month of May, the Silk & Spice international festival is one of the amazing festivals in Uzbekistan where various artists from around the country take part to show their aerobatic and daredevil skill sets.
This annual grand festival commences with a spectacular and colorful parade which is organized near Lyab-i Hauz Ensemble in the center of Bukhara. This parade features hundreds of people in traditional Uzbek clothes marching ahead with great enthusiasm. Among the people, there are actors, dancers, acrobats, wrestlers and musicians adding on to the ceremonial tunes of the occasion. The troop then ascends to the large traditional bazaar where several authentic handmade items are on display, for which this city is famous for. This is then followed by cultural programs such as themed plays, concerts, fashion shows exhibitions of traditional art work, and scientific and academic conferences. The festival then concludes at the architectural complex of Po-i-Kalyan with a folk gala concert.
Silk and Spice International Festival is one of the oldest festivals of Uzbekistan which is celebrated in the ancient city of Bukhara since 2001.
Bukhara was for long time a major trade, craft, and administrative hub located along the Silk Road route. Merchants under the blue colored dome ceilings traded everything from clothes to food items to other valuables. The central bazaar of Bukhara which is still functioning as a market complex was built in 16th Century on the crossroads. Many thousand years ago, caravans loaded with silk and spices came from China to the bazaars of Bukhara before setting off to Europe. These caravans stopped at the oases and met with artisans and skilled workers of this place and soon it became a norm. All these things are theorized to have led to the silk and spice significance of this city which later became a festival.
Every year Uzbek tourism, The City of Bukhara Administration, and Khunarmand Association of Craftsmen organize the Silk and Spice Festival whose main objective is to revive and keep afloat the legacy of the Silk Road and put on display the skills and traditions of local masters. Year over year it grew in popularity and started attracting tourists from outside Uzbekistan. It is now also promoted by the Uzbek government in various travel and tourism expos around the world.
After the completion of the festival, you’re always left with the luxury of exploring the 140 marvelous ancient monuments that are in Bukhara, some of which are designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.