The Eagle festival, or Golden Eagle festival (Бүргэдийн наадам/ бүркіт той), is an annual traditional festival held in Bayan-Ölgii aimag, Mongolia.In the eagle festival, Kazakh eagle hunters (Burkitshi) 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.
A smaller festival, the Altai Kazakh Eagle Festival, is also held each year in the nearby village of Sagsai in the last week of September. It follows much the same pattern as the larger Golden Eagle Festival, with about 40 eagle hunters participating
Organizer: Since 1999 every year, the festival is organized continually.
Date: 2nd, 3rd, 4th October of 2016
Venue: “Sayat Tolgoi ” Bugat soum, Bayan-Ulgii aimag
Ticket price: Free
1st Day: 09:00-17:00 Expo of the companies, organizations and NGO-s working on tourism.
09:00-10:00 Registration of the eagle hunters and handing mandates
10:00- 10:30 Opening ceremony of the festival
10:30- 13:00 Contest of the eagles, eagle hunters and horse harnesses
10:30- 13:00 Horse racing
13:00- 14:00 Lunch break
14:00- 16:00 Contest of the eagle hunters- how they accustomed their eagles to themselves
16:00- 18:00 Contest on “Tenge Ilu” game (pick up coins from the land on horseback)
14:00- 17:00 “Uriankhai” Archery
10:00- 16:00 Contest of the best Kazakh National dressed couple and award
20:00- 21:30 Gala concert in the Theatre
10:00-13:00 Contest of “Shirga Tartu” or how eagle hunters trained their eagles to hunt
10:00-13:00 Camel racing
11:00-12:00 National performance “Kyz Kuar”
13:00-14:00 Lunch break
14:00-16:00 Contest of traditional game “Kukbar”
16:00-17:00 Award ceremony for the winners
17:00-17:30 Closing ceremony of the festival