Topic: Turkmen Traditions
ASGHABAT, May 29 - Turkmenistan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, marks Carpet Day on Sunday. This national holiday was established before the country declared independence in 1991 and is celebrated on the last Sunday of May.
A performance involving pop stars and dance ensembles will be held near the National Carpet Museum in downtown Ashkhabad on this day. A colorful oriental bazaar will offer various carpets and other traditional Turkmen goods.
The show is organized by the Turkmen Carpet state-run corporation comprising 16 enterprises. Their carpets won many prestigious awards at international fairs in Paris, Montreal, Leipzig, Brussels, etc.
Many carpets have ornaments featuring the Turkmen national flag and coat of arms as a symbol of people's unity.
Famous Italian traveler Marco Polo (1254-1324) wrote that Turkmenistan boasted the thinnest and most beautiful carpets in the world. Renaissance artists later used to depict these carpets on their paintings.
Turkmen carpets were mentioned in Avesta (Zoroastrian archives), works by ancient Greek and Chinese historians, ancient Indian epics The Ramayana and The Mahabharata, The Shah Nameh by Persian poet Firdousi, The Thousand and One Nights, a series of stories in Arabic, etc.
Russian Emperor Alexander II had a Turkmen prayer carpet with images of Mecca and Medina.
Many world museums and private collectors have Turkmen carpets, however, Ashkhabad has the unique Carpet Museum.
The Soul of Turkmenistan huge carpet (193.5 square meters) created in 1941-1942 is one of the museum's main relics.
Another giant carpet, Turkmenbashi (the Turkmen President), was created in 1996 and displayed in the National Museum of Turkmenistan. Its weight is 550 kilograms and total area - 266 square meters. The third giant carpet, President (294 square meters), weighing 1,000 kilograms was made in 1998. It decorates the magnificent Rukhyet Palace.
The fourth carpet, The Golden Epoch of Great Saparmurat Turkmenbashi (301 square meters), weighing 1,200 kilograms was created in 2001. It was included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest handmade carpet.
Source: RIA Novosti