Festivals

The Mongolian Altai Eagle Festival

Nestled in the village of Altai, within the Bayan-Γ–lgii Province of Mongolia, the Altai Eagle Festival is a unique and captivating annual event in early September. This festival offers a rare glimpse into the rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty of the region.

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Samuel Maret

17 May 2024
Altai (Bayan Γ–lgii) 64 km
a Mongolian nomad holds his golden eagle in his hand
Chuka for Nomad's Land

A Celebration of Tradition and Nature

By showcasing traditional practices that are in harmony with nature, the festival also raises awareness about the importance of preserving natural habitats and the wildlife that inhabit them. This environmental consciousness is a subtle yet powerful aspect of the celebration.

The festival offers a rare opportunity to witness the majesty of eagles in action while reveling in the breathtaking beauty of Mongolia's Altai region. It also provides an immersive experience into the Altai culture, allowing visitors to learn about unique traditions and the eagle hunting skills passed down through generations.

dayan lake
Dayan Lake 113 km

The Mongolian Altai, the region of lakes

The southern Altai Massif is home to a number of lakes surrounded by rich natural beauty, pine forests and lush green pastures, the favourite haunts of nomads and their herds. East of the Altai village, the Dayan Lake, with its stunning natural beauty and rich biodiversity, is a significant natural attraction in the Bayan-Γ–lgii province of Mongolia. Its cultural and ecological importance, combined with opportunities for outdoor recreation and cultural experiences, makes it a valuable destination for both adventurers and researchers interested in the unique environment and heritage of the Altai region.

Activities Mongolia
Periwinkle Luffa, BlueMelon

A day dedicated to women

On the second day, the festival's activities ramp up with a variety of events, dedicated to equestrian games, featuring horseback archery. This ancient sport showcases hunters' skills as they shoot targets with a bow while galloping along a specially designed track.

Women's equestrian competitions are another highlight. Female participants demonstrate their prowess in horse handling, speed, and agility. These contests not only reflect the cultural and traditional aspects of the Altai people but also celebrate the skill and determination of the women involved.

A focal point of the festival is the eagle competitions. Hunters and their eagles perform hunting demonstrations, targeting prey such as hares and foxes. These thrilling displays captivate the audience, showcasing the power and grace of these magnificent birds.

Hunter with an eagle in Mongolia
Fadhil Abhimantra on Unsplash

"Golden Eagle" closing ceremony

The festival culminates in the "Golden Eagle" closing ceremony. This grand finale announces the competition winners, presents awards, and features a festive concert with performances by national artists and groups, celebrating the cultural vibrancy of the region.

Overall, the Altai Eagle Festival is a unique fusion of sports, culture, and tradition. It not only highlights the stunning natural beauty of the Altai region but also offers a deep dive into the remarkable traditions and cultural heritage of its people.

Festival attendees can further enhance their experience with overnight stays in yurts, breakfast with local families, and meals in festival yurt camps, adding an authentic touch to their visit.