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    Khokhloma folk art festival opens in Nizhny Novgorod

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    NIZHNY NOVGOROD, June 3 (RIA Novosti, Olga Skomorokhova) - The second Russian Golden Khokhloma Festival opened today in the town of Semyonov (the Nizhny Novgorod region, the Volga area), the birthplace of Russia's famous Khokhloma folk art tradition, the regional Ministry of Culture said.

    Folk art craftsmen from Nizhny Novgorod, Vladimir, Kirov, Saransk and other cities are selling their Khokhloma wooden crafts at the fair.

    The Khokhloma folk art style appeared in Russia in the second half of the 17th century. It is recognized by its plant patterns and combination of gold, red, and black colors.

    According to legend, the father of Khokhloma folk art was a tsarist icon painter who left his life in the court to settle in the Volga forests, where he began to paint wooden plates and dishes "with simple patterns of his native land." Later the villagers of Khokhloma mastered this craftsmanship. They made utensils by hand, painted them, and sold them at fairs. Eventually, they formed artels (cooperative associations of workers). In the 1960s, the Khokhloma Painting Industrial Association was founded.

    The festival includes the folk art fair, classes by master craftsmen, and contests.

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