Exploring a new country, especially, Belarus, Minsk and its traditions doesn’t only mean visiting its best restaurants, popular tourist attractions and trying traditional food. Buying a souvenir and bringing it home to support your travel stories with some physical evidence is all about getting local souvenirs.
Nothing can be better than bringing a gift from Belarus! Especially, if it brings good luck.. but let’s get to that point first.
MeetnGreetMe.com travel service is bringing to you top 7 souvenirs from Belarus you should bring home and share with your dear ones:
1. Sugared Cranberries (Клюква в сахаре)
Healthy and organic sugared cranberries are produced according to a patented technology, which makes them really exclusive worldwide. They are sweet and absolutely delicious. Make sure you take them with you.
Savour it to the last cranberry…yummy!
2. Zefir (Зефир)
Another sweet, tasty and popular confectionery in Belarus and Russia as well is zefir. It’s extremely popular here, but unknown in many other countries. If you’ve never zefir this in your life, we’ll just say that the closest dessert to it are marshmallows. Just a bit lighter, softer, and, in our biased opinion, tastier. Zefir is made of apples, sugar and egg white.
The oldest confectionery Krasny Pishchevik has been producing delicious and healthy zefir, pastille, fruit jelly from genuine fruits and berries for more than a hundred years.
Make sure you take good large boxes with you.
3. Kommunarka and Spartak chocolate sweets
Kommunarka and Spartak are the largest chocolate factories in Belarus. They offer all types of chocolate produce, a wide range which can make every sweet tooth’s mouth water. Perhaps, almost in all post-soviet Russian-speaking countries you can find its own ‘Alyonka’ (Аленка). Alyonka is a nice and loving way to say Lena in Russian.
Make sure you try the Belarusian Alyonka before you leave. And take with you, of course ;)
4. Traditional Belarusian alcoholic drinks
If you are looking for a bottle of a traditional drink from Belarus, opt for krambambula, zubrovka (or zubrowka) and balms of different kind. Sure the male half of your family and friends should love them and appreciate as a great national souvenir from Belarus.
Krambambula is a national vodka drink flavoured with honey and spices. The recipe appeared back in the days when the Grand Principality of Lithuania existed. As for zubrovka (or zubrowka), sometimes it is also called bison glass vodka. Zubrowka is called this way because it is an alcoholic Belarusian beverage flavoured with herbs, a tincture of bison glass, in particular, and distilled from rye. This type of grass grows in Belovezhskaya Pushcha where Belarusian bizons (zubr-s) live. And finally, Belarusian balms. Belarusian balm is a toning alcoholic drink flavoured with herbs and fruits of different kind. The natural ingredients have a strengthening effect on people’s organism. People add it to coffee and tea sometimes to add a special aroma.
5. Belarusian linen
Belarusian flax has been grown here since many many many years ago. Flax is used to create exclusive Belarusian linen products ranging from napkins, table cloths and bed linen, to trendy clothes, bags and toys. This material is absolutely eco-friendly and healthy. People in Belarus prefer to wear linen clothes in summer, in particular, because the material allows the cloth to ‘breath’ and you never feel hot in it.
6. Golden straw souvenirs from Belarus
Straw has always been of great value to Belarusian people throughout its history. It was believed that golden straw possesses the energy of the sun and nature. It symbolizes prosperity and happiness. Belarusians believed that it could transfer the power of nature and share it with its owners. Perhaps, golden straw is one of the most unusual materials used to make handmade amulets and decorations for the house.
One of the most popular talismans was a straw spider with its net. It used to symbolize the Universe. The straw spider absorbed and accumulated all negative energy from the house and let only happiness live there. At the end of every year the spider was burnt down and a new one was hung on the ceiling.
7. Ceramic souvenirs
Ceramics has always been popular in Belarus, even today there are a lot of talented Belarusian craftsmen who make fantastic pottery, ceramic figures of animals, decorations and much more. Every craftman has their own technique of modeling and glazing their works of art. Clay was also a popular material for creating traditional musical instruments.
If you are looking forward to buying something really traditional, opt for figures of animals and birds, especially, bears, bisons and storks, or penny whistles and decorative bells. They say that would bring luck and happiness to your house. You never know if that is true, but why take chances? ;)
Definitely, there much more great and memorable souvenirs you can buy upon your visit to Belarus, such as, Slutsk belts, wooden and rod souvenirs, felt boots and caps, Narochansky bread, smoked sausages from Komarovsky market, cheese Berestie of Berezovsky cheese factory produce and much more than that.
Belarus is a very hospitable and friendly country. It has a lot to offer to international guests travelling to Belarus both for the first time or on a regular visit. Just make sure that you have someone with you to help you enjoy the true Belarus and buy presents from Belarus at the best prices. Right, MeetnGreeters in Minsk would be glad to help you out ;)
Would you like to ask any questions about best places to buy these souvenirs? or maybe share your impressions about Belarus? Feel free to leave a comment below!