7 December 2016 Festivals
Akhtachi hamlet is one of large abodes of Shirvan region of Azerbaijan. Zaki Validi linked Akhtachi hamlet with Oghuz wrote that they possessed wide lands and dominated Tumens. Gagali Village of Agsu region is one of the villages which have Akhtachi hamlet. In this Turkish abode the population of which were engaged historically in cropping in winter, summer and spring pastures, some folklore samples are special. The analyses of oturma (rite due to which local people stay awake during the whole night) and passing of animals over bonfire like people provides opportunity to see the importance of Akhir Chranshanba ceremony in example of this place.
Novruz has four symbols: water, fire, wind and land and each of these symbols is celebrated during four Tuesdays prior to Novruz. These Novruz Tuesdays are named Su Chershenbesi, Od Chershenbesi, Yel Chershenbesi and Akhir or Torpaq Chershenbesi.
March 15 celebrates the last Chershenbe before Novruz-Land Tuesday, a symbol of awakening and e beginning of field work.
On 14-16 March, 2016 2nd International Terekeme Chershenbe Folklore Festival was held in Gagali Village of Agsu region, Azerbaijan by MIRAS Social Organization in Support of Studying of Cultural Heritage with support of Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Agsu region Executive Power, Azerbaijan Photographers Union and Allprint Company. At the festival here were participants from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Egypt, India, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Norway, Yemen, Indonesia and Myanmar. The festival lasted 2 days.
A the opening of the festival the rugs woven in Gagali, Bijo and Gashad Villages of Agsu and souvenirs, musical instruments and sewings of Agsu Town, decorative folk art work in Ismailli region, art materials of Egypt Cultural Centre, antiquities, terekeme tents, wheel, pictures drawn by various artists of MIRAS Organization, as well as archaeological materials found from medieval Agsu town, Mehravan castle and Nargizava monument were presented within the festival. Gutab (national meal) and yukha were cooked in front of the terekeme tent.
The festival was very important from the aspect of promotion of Turkic people traditions, maintenance of cultural relations among world countries and research of human values. Azerbaijan and Turkey tarakama yoruk culture are considered the same, but have distinct living styles. Novruz, Ilakhir charshanba, Turkic-Islamic civilization were mentioned to have richness.
Folklore groups from Azerbaijan and from abroad performed at the festival. Azerbaijan was represented at the festival by group of Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Art-national songs accompanied by folk dances; theatre art faculty of the same university with colourful “Novruz” composition, MIRAS music group with mugham; pupils of Gagali secondary school of Agsu named after Hagigat Musayev with spectacle “Kosa and Kechal", "Choban and Pahlavan"; Ismayilli town State humanitarian and technology college group with artistic compositions, "Choban" and "Samani" dances and wrestler performances.
Along with the local folk groups, Izmir municipality Youth and Sport Group from Turkey with Zeybak and Kafkas dances; "Kartvelo" folk group from Georgia with national Georgian songs; "Best of İndia" folk dance group with national Indian dances and Egypt art exhibition participated at the festival. Various public games: wrestlers test their strength, egg gathering in the mouth, tightropes were played at the festival. The participants followed oturma rite and akhir charshanba bonfires and Agsu tour, were in touch with villagers, tasted national Azerbaijani cuisine, took interesting photos of the village, did folklore studies at the festival.