Golden Eagle festival

The Eagle festival, or Golden Eagle festival is an annual traditional festival held in Bayan-Ölgii aimag, Mongolia .In the eagle festival, Kazakh eagle hunters celebrate their heritage and compete to catch small animals such as foxes and hares  with specially trained golden eagles, showing off the skills both of the birds and their trainers. Prizes are awarded for speed, agility and accuracy, as well as for the best traditional Kazakh dress, and more.

The Eagle Festival is held during the first weekend in October, run by the Mongolian Eagle Hunter’s Association. Dark, rocky mountainous terrain forms the backdrop to the festivities which incorporate an opening ceremony, parade, cultural exhibitions, demonstrations and handcrafts in the centre of town of Ölgii followed by sporting activities and competitions 4 km out towards the mountains. Dressed in full eagle hunting regalia and mounted on groomed decorated horses, the entrants compete for the awards of Best Turned out Eagle and Owner; Best Eagle at Hunting Prey and Best Eagle at Locating Its Owner from a Distance. Other sporting activities include horse racing, archery and the highly entertaining Bushkashi – goatskin tug of war on horseback. Golden Eagle festival

Naadam Festival is the only one of its kind; it is a sophisticated and eloquent expression of nomadic culture, it is the honored celebration of a national independence, and it is an outstanding combination of arts and sports.
Even, the core of the festival – three manly sports – the wrestling, horse racing and archery, embrace many elements of arts, such as singing, dancing and performing.
Nomadic Mongolians have known when to throw the parties. Naadam Festival is held in the most enjoyable month of the most pleasant season in the country.
Therefore, everyone takes the opportunity and enjoys the Festival in diverse schedule such as traveling to the countryside, camping out and gathering in their closest herds.
Everyone is so looking forward to Naadam that after each Naadam, Naadamers moan that next Naadam is too long to wait. Don’t be one of those moaning about next Naadam being too long to wait!
Come travel to Mongolia with us to experience this Festival, which is the only one of its kind, in the world.
Where to see
As the festival is held in every village and town around the country sometime between June and August, one has ample opportunity to experience and enjoy the Naadam festival in Mongolia. Where to see Naadam all depends on one’s own availability and preferences of the type of the festivities.

In the capital – Ulaanbaatar, Naadam Festival (so called “National Naadam”) officially starts in the morning of the 11th of July and closes in the evening of the following day. However although the Naadam of Ulaanbaatar is the only national one with the largest extravaganza and the fanciest performances, it might seem too crowded to experience. Sometimes, festival spectators are not able to watch certain games, held in distanced locations, because of the heavy traffic. Entrance tickets for Opening Ceremony tend to be sold out early, as well.
Brief history
The origin of Naadam festival is closely related to the history and culture of the country. Mongolians have abundant military history; especially, it is renowned for its conquest, great Emperors and the warriors. The core reason of the success and unity of legendary Chinggis (Genghis) Khan’s army was its sophisticated structure. The whole army was composed of groups of 10 soldiers and each group was led by a selected man.

The leader of groups chose their warriors based on their strength, movement and flexibility revealed in their wrestling skills, their eye-sight and hand-orientation shown in their spear-throw and archery skills, their patience and bravery exposed in their horse training and horse racing skills during public competitions. Furthermore, before and after major battles, the three manly sports – wrestling, horserace and archery – were exercised as an organized event, which later adopted its present name – Naadam.