The traditional pomegranate festival, which began on November 3 in Goychay, attracted thousands of visitors to the region from Baku and other regions of the country, as well as from abroad. The 13th festival in a row has become unprecedented not only in number of guests and participants, but also in colorful.

The great attention to the pomegranate festival was also given by the Russian media this year, many of them published articles about the holiday. Thanks to the traditional pomegranate festival in Goychay, the inflow of tourists to Azerbaijan from Russia and other foreign countries is growing during this period of the year. At the same time, the festival expands the possibilities of exporting pomegranate juice and other pomegranate products from Azerbaijan to abroad.

It should be noted that the tradition to hold a pomegranate festival in Goychay arose 13 years ago on the initiative of the Russian billionaire Farhad Akhmedov. The district executive government and the Ministry of Culture supported this initiative. Since then, a pomegranate festival has been held every year in early November in Goychay.

The festival started on Nariman Narimanov Street at 11:00, in front of the Children's Music School named by Professor Arif Mamedov. The guests were greeted solemnly, to the national music. The main character of the holiday- The Prince Pomegranate, welcomed the guests, and girls in national clothes distributed pomegranate juice of local producers.

Among the guests there were billionaire Farhad Akhmedov, members of the Milli Majlis Sabir Hajiyev and Elman Nasirov, artist Farhad Khalilov, rector of the Baku Music Academy Farhad Badalbeyli, ambassadors of Sweden, Israel, Pakistan, the Czech Republic, Norway, India and Moldova in Baku, as well as the former ambassador of Russia in Azerbaijan, Vasily Istratov, representatives of foreign countries and political leadership.

The head of the local executive power, Mehdi Salimzade speaking at the official opening of the festival, congratulated the audience, saying that this holiday also serves to promote Azerbaijan in the world. Thanks to the pomegranate holiday, widely reported by local and foreign media, our country annually attracts more and more tourists.

After the official opening of the festival, a festive concert took place. Famous khanende, singers, including Adalat Shukurov, Miri Yusif, Aygun Kyazimova, the group Anvar, tar player Shakhriyar Imanov and others performed national songs and dances.
One of the memorable episodes of the festival was an exciting horse procession, that greeted with stormy applauses by the audience.

But, of course, the most interesting and important part of the festival was an exhibition of various grades of pomegranate grown in the villages of Goychay district, made from pomegranate juice, jam and other products.

The stands with Goychay villagers, as well as such samples of our national cuisine as plov, tandir bread, lavash, kyata and various sweets were presented to the guests of the festival
Later the entertaining competitions and contests took place. The Children's Entertainment Center, decorated with pomegranate symbols was introduced at the first time in this year
The guests of the festival got acquainted with the AzNar stand. Here organic products of the company were presented, that tasted by the guests with pleasure.

One of the interesting moments of the festival was a fashion show. The Fashion designer Aynur Talibova presented her İnci Collection, Natavan Collection and Libas Couture collections.

Then the local and foreign guests went to AzNar. It was festive there too, girls in national clothes and musicians welcomed the guests. Farhad Akhmedov informed foreign ambassadors and other guests about the history of AzNar and its activities. It was noted that environmentally pure pomegranate juice and other products produced by the enterprise are exported to many countries of the world and have stable buyers.

After acquaintance with the company, a new winery opening of CJSC AzNar took place. The guests introduced with this factory, equipped with modern technology. A fresh bottled wine was presented to the guests at the factory.

At the end of the opening ceremony, the festival guests planted trees on the territory of AzNar CJSC. Each of the guests planted a pomegranate tree and hung on them his memorable name plate.

The first day of the festival continued with a banquet where the national dishes were the guests.
In the evening, a concert program for local residents and guests took place, that ended with fireworks.

According to our correspondent, many travel companies have organized discount tours from Baku to Goychay. As a result, there was a huge inflow of guests at the festival. Arriving in Goychay, the tourists got acquainted with the sights of the area, took part in festive events.
On 4 of November, the festival continued with sports competitions. A friendly match between the AzNar and the Keshlya football teams (formerly Inter) was held at the city stadium reconstructed using the funds allocated by Farhad Akhmedov. With the filled grandstands of the stadium, the match ended with a score 2: 0 in favor of the home team. The Director of AzNar, JSC Teymur Akhmedov handed 10,000 manat to the winner team, as well as the traditional Nar cup and 5,000 manat to the Keshla team.

We note that in the voting of the National Geographic Traveler Awards 2018 (NGT Awards 2018) about the tourist routes and leisure issue from Russia to the CIS and neighboring countries, Azerbaijan ahead of France, Armenia and South Korea. The traditional pomegranate festival in Goychay is one of the top three ethno-gastronomic holydays and festivals.

In Goychay, 45-50 thousand tons of pomegranates an average are grown annually, there are currently 3,740 hectares of pomegranate gardens. Pomegranate varieties such as Gulovsha, Veles, Shandy, Shirin, Bala Mursal are mainly grown in the gardens. More than half of the produced pomegranate is supplied to foreign markets, in particular, to Russia, Ukraine and Georgia.