Belarus is often an overlooked country whenever someone thinks about traveling within Europe. However, there are many fun facts about Belarus that make it an interesting country to explore. The Eastern European hidden gem has its fair share to offer, from lakes to forests, beautiful streets, villages, delectable cuisine, and more.
Historical Facts About Belarus
Belarus has witnessed a tumultuous history, but there are some good parts too. Some of the historical information about Belarus you should know includes the following.
Belarus Has Kept Changing Its Name Throughout History
The country has changed its official name many times throughout history; some of which included Litva, Jemoit, the Great Principality of Lithuania, and many others.
During this time, the locals also spoke Old Belorussian.
For a few centuries, this was the official language of the country.
In 2014, BelAZ Created The World’s Largest Truck
You will find this dump truck in the quarries, and it is massive. It weighs more than 350 tons, has a height of 8.7 meters, and can easily carry over 500 tons of weight. The truck’s value is equally robust, going up to millions of dollars.
The History Is Filled With Bloodshed And Tears
During the Second World War, more than two million people were murdered in the country. In addition, it was occupied by the Nazis and faced the brunt of the disaster in Chernobyl.
Fortunately, it has mostly recovered from this past with a more stable society today.
Cultural Facts About Belarus
The culture of the country has been shaped by values of humanity, morality, and spirituality. Here are some interesting cultural facts about Belarus to boost your knowledge.
Maslenitsa Week Is A Week Of Delicious Pancakes
Between the 28th of February and the 1st of March, Maslenitsa Week is celebrated when the locals say their farewell to winter and welcome spring.
They do this through festivities, stalls, food, rides, and much more. Almost everyone makes pancakes during these festivities to enjoy with their loved ones every day.
Belarus Food Is Incomplete Without Potatoes
As you indulge in Belarus food and cuisine, you will notice potatoes at almost every meal. The locals know how to create more than 300 unique potato recipes. Most tourists love draniki, which are grated potato pancakes that are served with sour cream.
There Is A Superstition About Whistling In The Home
There are different superstitions within the Belarusian culture, some of which can seem rather amusing. For example, you shouldn’t whistle in your home, or the money you have will blow away.
Another superstition is that you should clean your house when a guest leaves and reaches their destination. If you clean before that, it is symbolic of you clearing the guest from your life forever.
Interesting Facts About Belarus For Kids
Here are some simple facts about Belarus for the young ones that can pique their interest in the underrated country.
Belarus Is Also Called The Lungs Of Europe
Around 40% of the country is covered in forests, and you have to visit the Bialowieza Forest. It is one of the iconic natural landmarks in Belarus.
The country also has many national parks for people to explore and get some fresh air. Even the green strip on the national flag represents the greenery of the country.
The Diamond Of Knowledge Is An Award-Winning Library
This library has twenty-three floors, a beautiful viewing deck that offers stunning views, and books that will blow your mind. As you witness this structure, you may think it just came out of a science fiction movie.
Conversely, a good amount of people also think the structure is ugly, and the building is unusual.
Youngsters In Belarus Want To Be Coders
Belarus is also sometimes touted as the Silicon Valley of Europe, with many young and brilliant minds wanting to be coders. It is also one of the top jobs in the country, and the incomes of coders are high compared to neighboring places.
However, the average pay overall in the country is perhaps the lowest in the region.
Useufl Belarus Facts For Travelers
Here are some fun facts about Belarus that can be helpful in planning a trip.
The Longest Street Stretches More Than 15 Kilometers
Independence Avenue is the longest street in the country, and it will take you through five squares. These include October Square, Victory, and many others. An interesting tidbit about this street is that it has changed its name at least fourteen times before ending up with Independence Avenue.
Take A Stroll Through Oktyabrskaya Street For Beautiful Street Art
The entire country has creative murals all over various streets. But we recommend that you visit Oktyabrskaya Street to witness some beautiful art. It has some of the biggest murals that will amaze you.
There Are A Few UNESCO Sites
Belarus hosts a few UNESCO sites you can visit, with some of them also being on the tentative list. A few of the popular ones include the Bialowieza Forest and Nesvizh Radziwill Castle.
There Are Lots Of Lakes And Rivers
The country is home to over 20,000 rivers. Some of the biggest and most prominent include the Neman, Western Dvina, and Dnieper. Besides that, the country also has around 11,000 lakes for you to explore.
Common Facts About Belarus
There are some general Belarus facts that are good to know.
High Alcohol And Tobacco Consumption
According to WHO, locals here consume more than 17 liters of alcohol each year. That amounts to at least five shots of vodka in a day or close to two hundred wine bottles in a year. They also smoke a lot, as adults consume close to 3,000 cigarettes annually.
Minsk The Capital
While capital cities are usually crowded and bustling, you might be surprised to find that Minsh is rather spacious. It has an affordable cost of life, good environmental quality, and safety.
The center of the city is also well-maintained and incredibly clean.
Nobel Laureates Have Come From Belarus
Zhores Alferov and Svetlana Alexievich and both Nobel Laureates, and they come from Belarus. The former won the prize for Physics two decades ago, and the latter won for literature in 2015.
Other residents have also been nominated for various prizes in the past.
The Locals Are Friendly And Humble
Belarus might be a developing country with its challenges, but people are still warm and friendly. Foreign tourists are not a very common sight in the country but locals do welcome visitors. Although the language barrier might be an obstacle, they will try to help you out if you ask.
Other Interesting Facts About Belarus
Here are some other fascinating facts about Belarus that give you a deeper understanding of the country.
There Are Many Casinos In Belarus
People that like gambling can find Belarus to be a haven as it is home to many casinos. Gambling was outlawed in Russia, which is why a lot of them decided to open here.
Many Russians now come to Belarus when they want to gamble their money.
Football Is A Popular Sport
The locals have a strong passion for football, and it is a common activity for people to engage in. However, there are many other sports that people like playing in the country.
These include tennis, ice hockey, and much more, but football is seen to be the most popular.
It Is Landlocked
The country is landlocked and bordered by Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Ukraine. As such, there are no beaches in Belarus with direct access to the ocean. However, the country has plenty of rivers and lakes that make up for it.
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Discovering More Fun Facts About Belarus
Belarus is a country full of surprises, boasting its fair share of rich history and culture. These are just some of the interesting Belarus facts that give you a glimpse of the country. However, there is no better way to experience this hidden gem in Eastern Europe than by visiting yourself. You are sure to uncover more amazing facts about Belarus through your own adventures.