If you enjoy traveling and experiencing new and exciting things, then the Golden Eagle Festival in Bayan-Ölgii Province, Mongolia is something you cannot miss. This festival incorporates a competition between the best eagle hunters the Kazakh have to offer. If you happen to be a bird enthusiast, all the more reason to come to Mongolia during this festival.
If you decide to undertake this breath-taking journey, the first thing that you will be amazed by is the natural beauty of this region: forested valleys, clear alpine lakes, vast meadows filled with beautiful flowers and snowcapped peaks. This area is largely untouched by the outside world. Why largely? Because as the winter hunting season nears, Kazakh hunters from all over this province gather to celebrate this long-lasting tradition and demonstrate their hunting skills.
The main attraction of this festival are the Golden Eagles, known as Berkut, and the competition eagle hunters enter with them. The hunters, dressed in full eagle hunting regalia and mounted on decorated horses, and their birds compete in catching small animals such as foxes and hares. Prizes are awarded for speed, agility and accuracy. The main prizes are: Best Turned Out Eagle and Owner, Best Eagle at Hunting Prey and Best Eagle at Locating Its Owner from a Distance.
This hunting ceremony is held 4 km from Ölgii, the capital city of the province, and reaches the edges of the mountains. There are also other ceremonial activities such as: an opening ceremony in Ölgii, parades, cultural exhibitions, demonstrations of traditional handcrafts and many more, all of which are held to honor the hunters and their eagles. This amazing event is always held during the first weekend in October.
This festival is organized by the Kazakh community and the Berkut Association, a community-based conservation organization. This association makes sure that the tradition is preserved and that the proceedings of the ticket sales, which cost $30 per person for the two day duration of the festival, are used so that the festival can be held next year and the golden eagle remains protected. So take a journey to Mongolia and witness sights and events you cannot see every day. watch video below
See also Desert Lotus Resort in Mongolia
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