On September 14 and 15, 2019, eagle hunters and their trained golden eagles will gather for the Altai Kazakh Eagle Festival near the remote town of Sagsai in the heart of Mongolia's Altai Mountains. There, they will celebrate eagle hunting, an ancient Kazakh falconry tradition.
At the invitation of the eagle hunters, Blue Silk Travel sponsored the 2018 festival. We are honored to support this important cultural event.
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- The eagle festival celebrates nomads' relationship with golden eagles, a human-animal partnership made famous world-wide by teenager Aisholpan and the photographs of Asher Svidensky. At the eagle festival, visitors have the opportunity to share in this bond with the eagles.
- In addition to eagle hunting, the eagle festival celebrates many aspects of Kazakh culture: food, clothing, embroidery and music, that continue to thrive in Mongolia's remote Altai Mountains.
- At the festival, hunters bring their golden eagles to the top of a rocky outcropping, and then call them from hundreds of feet away. The eagle festival judges assign scores based on the speed and accuracy of each eagle.
- The eagle festival also features a variety of other competitions, including kokpar a sort of tug-of-war between men on horseback using a headless goat carcass.