Golden Eagle Festival in Mongolia
The Golden Eagle Festival is an annual traditional festival held in Bayan-Ölgii aimag, Mongolia and held during the first weekend in October,
The ancient tradition of hunting with golden eagles is becoming one of the most successful and influential events, not only for the Altaic Kazakhs, but also for all the people in Western Mongolia.
In the rugged highlands of Western Mongolia, deep within the Altai Mountains, Kazakh hunters from across the Bayan-Ulgii province gathers annually to celebrate this traditional falconry skill, competing in a series of age-old games and hunting competitions. Until recently, this custom was on the verge of disappearing. But in 2000, the Golden Eagle Festival was established to revive the tradition and promote it among the Kazakh’s younger generations.
Traveling as far as 140 miles on horseback, arriving competitors is welcomed at the Ger (yurt) encampment with a special presentation of Kazakh dance, music, and other folkloric performances.
The official opening ceremony begins with the dramatic parade of these rugged hunters on horseback with their eagles. The excitement continues as the hunters competitively exhibit their traditional Kazakh dress and the handcrafted falconry equipment and ornamentation of their adorned eagles.
“A fast horse and a soaring eagle are the wings of a nomad.” – Kazakh proverb