How Ledyda and his comrades drove sheep to the mountains (PHOTOS)
For many centuries, Transcarpathian sheep farmers have driven sheep on alpine pastures. And traditionally, for more than 40 years, in Mizhhirya district they have celebrated the holiday of sending sheep to the mountains. This year, the officials of the region also took part in this festival. The festive event was attended by the head of the region Oleksandr Ledyda, his deputy Anton Hromovy, the deputy head of the regional council Andriy Serbaylo, the head of Mizhhirya district administration, Vasyl Shchur, residents of Mizhhirya district and tourists.
The main action took place on the Synevyr Pass, where sheep farmers were waiting for the holiday guests. Shepherds willingly told about their craft. As the shepherd Vasyl Orobets from Bukovets said, this profession requires, first of all the desire to work:
- I love sheep. Otherwise you can not do this job, as well as any other. My father, and grandfather, and great-grandfather were shepherds. For 7 years now, I have been driving sheep to the mountains.
A shepherd with 20 years of experience Mykhailo Vehesh adds:
It takes a lot of stamina. Almost half a year we spend in the mountains with sheep. We get up at 5 am, milk sheep (three times a day), drive them to pasture. Then we make cheese with the milk. To benefit from it, we must sell cheese at least for 45 UAH per kilo.
Guests of the festival also tried to make cheese. Oleksandr Ledyda comes to the festival every year.
- Sheep farming, sending shepherds with flocks to the mountains, making sheep cheese are traditions that we cherish. Cheese, products made of sheep's wool are in great demand both among countrymen and among the tourists. Currently in Transcarpathia there are more than 229,000 sheep and goats. Of those, 27,000 are in Mizhhirya district. Sheep farming is a traditional craft that provided for Carpathian families. Now, Transcarpathians receive government subsidies to help people keep animals, - Oleksandr Ledyda said.
High officials awarded some farmers with insignia. In particular, entrepreneur Vasyl Dudish and shepherd Mykhailo Tsendra received diplomas for contribution to the development of the sheep farming.
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