‘Journey from the Caspian’ is a programme of events that will take place around Azerbaijan in the lead up to Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games.
Prior to an Olympics Games, and before the 1st European Games in Baku in 2015, a torch was lit with sacred fire and carried around the host country to bring the spirit and excitement of the games to the whole country. For the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games, our objective is the same but this time our Journey is not focused on fire but on the element of water.
Water is hugely important in the Islamic faith, symbolising purity, healing and cleansing. Our host city of Baku is on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Water is one of the four classical elements that we celebrate before Novruz alongside earth, air and fire. All of these points are hugely important and this is why we have chosen to celebrate Water in the lead up to the Games.
On 5th April 2017 the Journey from the Caspian Launch Ceremony took place at the Stone Chronicle Musuem in Baku. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan was presented water from the Caspian Sea to children from all over Azerbaijan. They will then take the water back to their regions as part of the Journey from the Caspian. This water represents a memento, from Baku and the Islamic Games, to the regions of Azerbaijan.
The Journey continues and will visit 15 more iconic cities and water locations, covering over 3,000 km. Each region will host a Water Ceremony and an evening Water Festival. The evening Water Festivals are free public events and will include performances by local performance groups, the international renowned Azerbaijani group Mirvari, with spectacular water effects and an exciting fireworks display.
37 days after the Launch Ceremony, the Journey will come to an end at the Baku Olympic Stadium. The water collected from all over this amazing country will return to Baku on the 12th May and will welcome the athletes of the Islamic Solidarity Games as part of the Opening Ceremony.