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Folk dancer performs traditional dance at local festival in Khiva, Uzbekistan
© Curioso.Photography / Shutterstock

Celebrate the Raks Sehri dance festival

This unique traditional festival celebrating 'the magic of dance' is held each year in Khiva.

Although many people may come to Khiva and Itchan Kala for the architectural heritage, the city is alive with cultural tradition that has been passed down through the generations. One of the most exciting is dance - and this is celebrated every year at the International Dance Festival in Khiva, which features all sorts of Uzbek dancers, along with foreign performances.

During 'Raks Sehri' (the Magic of Dance), the performances are used as a way to express culture and traditions. Dance gives people the chance to exchange, to share, and to communicate with each other - regardless of language differences - and the festival is a robust way to preserve traditional dance practices.

Performer in the festival © Nodir Khalilov / Unsplash
Performer in the festival © Nodir Khalilov / Unsplash

If you're lucky enough to attend, you'll be able to witness Uzbek dancing traditions that are completely unique and only practiced by small numbers of people. Traditional Uzbek dancers perform folk dances while wearing colourful clothes, making the performances quite a sight to behold.

By taking part in the Raks Sehri festival, you can also expect to witness other forms of arts which are all authentic to the Uzbek culture, such as food stands, puppet theatre shows, and art exhibitions, which all keep the event lively and diverse.