November 14 in Belarus celebrated folk festival Kuzma — the patron saint of blacksmiths. Therefore, this day is also called the professional holiday of the Masters — Day blacksmith.
Blacksmithing — this is one of the oldest and most respected craft. It has long been respected and honored the blacksmiths of the people. A blacksmith's not as easy as it seems. Education in our days is a sufficient amount of time, and once studied the case of a blacksmith from 3 to 10 years.
Forge usually stood on the side of the village, and from there always came the cheerful clink of iron — a blacksmith works. Shoeing horses, smelts sickles and scythes, knives and scissors. The people believed the blacksmith hero, in whose hands the iron and fire become obedient. Not everyone has the strength to subdue such elements.
Before the 12th century blacksmiths were "part-time" and Gutnikov — masters of smelting iron from bog or lake ore, from which then forged a variety of items, weapons and jewelry. Around the late 11th — early 13th century blacksmiths became separate independent artists. In the 14-17 centuries was divided into separate blacksmith profession — swordsmen, warriors, locksmiths.
Urban blacksmiths belonged to the middle class and caste in the 16th century had the right to associate in the shop. In the second half of the 17th century, many Belarusian blacksmiths worked in Muscovy, Italy, Venice and France. Study could last up to 10 years, after which the students became apprentices. To qualify as a master blacksmith had to make "journey" on the craft center and do a specific thing that evaluated the chairmen of various departments. Take into account the decoration, the complexity and duration of the forging, as well as strength, if it was about guns.
Rural or village blacksmiths did not engage in workshops and meet the needs of a narrow range of customers — the villagers and residents of the villages roundabout. More often than do the right things in life: horseshoes, locks, upholstery for chests. The transfer took place by receiving skills in students. They are most often members of the same family — nephews, brothers and sons.
Until the late 19th century in each Povet Belarus were up to 50 rural blacksmiths. Usually they worked together with assistants, blacksmith. In addition to hot and cold shoeing smiths performed welding, metalwork and various soldering.
As the professional work of a blacksmith paid well and was respected, though sometimes severe, that the younger generation in the country certainly wanted to join the community of blacksmiths . To be like the children invent a variety of games, wherever featured blacksmith or its activities. The Belarusian folklore to have survived a huge number of games.
Despite the fact that modern industry has pressed craft-making, blacksmith profession is highly respected. Around it still hovers a halo of mystery and puzzles. A forged products today — it's expensive luxuries. Often — it is beautiful, elegant works of art.
In the day of its patron Kuzma, blacksmiths often hold celebrations of their profession at various festivals and exhibitions. For example, during the Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk held annually Ball Hephaestus. There's the master of fire and iron demonstrate the ability to turn metal into flowers, butterflies or even a hat.