The First International Festival of Handicrafters in Kokand was held during 10-15 September 2019 by the initiative of the H.E. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The event was aimed at and demonstrated safeguarding of traditional handicrafts traditions, preserving and developing cultural diversity through supporting creativity. During the first International Handicrafters Festival, the ancient city of Kokand had brought together guests from more than 370 from around 78 countries and around 1,200 local handicrafters.
Uzbekistan plans on organizing the Second International Handicrafters Festival in the upcoming year 2022 in the ancient city of Kokand with the aim of promoting handicraft traditions, which are an invaluable source to attract Uzbek youth to safeguard the heritage and support the diversity of craftsmanship in Uzbekistan.
As a part of the event, with the aim of attracting talented handicraft masters and youth of Uzbekistan to participate in the festival, additional exhibitions and show-contests will also be organized in the regions of Uzbekistan during April 2022, as well as in the capital city Tashkent and Karakaplakstan during June 2022.
During the previous event in 2019, various exhibitions of handicrafts, fine art, folk art, and ancient handicraft machines were organized near the square of Khudayarkhan Palace. The production process, feature films and documentaries, books, albums and photographs about folk arts were presented. Uzbek national clothes demonstrations of tightrope walkers, comedians, and folk groups were organized within the framework of the festival in 2019.
In the shade of such historical and tourists destinations of Uzbekistan as Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva, the Fergana Valley often remains unnoticed, even though it holds the most valuable treasures in it. The Fergana valley, which is known as the greenest area in the country, is known not only for the best fruits in the country but also for its cotton cultivation, silk production in Margilan and handicraft culture. The razor-sharp knives and world-famous skull caps are made in the town of Chust.
Kokand is located in the western Fergana Valley and in 228 km southeast from the capital Tashkent is a historic city of the region. The city that lies along the route of the ancient Silk Road, was destroyed several times, but in the 18thcentury it became once more a prospering city under the kingdom of Khudayar Khan, the last ruling Khan of Kokand. During this period, the city became a political, cultural and religious center with 35 madrasahs and 300 mosques. Although only a few of these are still there today, the old part of the city is worth a visit – especially the Khudayar Khan Palace, which is a real gem of Uzbekistan and Central Asia in general.
The Historic Center Kokand, or Qoqon in the local language, was nominated to be a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. According to a report submitted to UNESCO: Qoqon - is one of the cultural centers of the Ancient East. The most worthy attention is fine and unique by their beauty and architectural shape of buildings - a residence of governors Qoqon Khanate - Urda, Norbutabiy Madrasah, Djamiy mosque, Kamol Kozi Madrasah, Dasturkhonchi, Sohibzod Kazrat, Zingbardor and many others. Among the historical sights in the old town are Norbutabi (Norbutabe) Madrasah, Jami (Juma) mosque and minaret, the architectural ensemble Dahmai-Shohon (Dahma-I-Shakhon) mausoleum, Kamol Kazi Madrasah, the tomb of Madari Khan’s women and Khudoyar-Khan’s Palace (Hudoyarhan Palace). The main madrasahs are Norbutabey, Dasturkanchi, Aminbek, and Medresei-mir, and the mausoleums are Modari Khan, Dakhma-I-Jakhon and Mukimi.