Though we are aware of the new realities and ever changing nature of this pandemic we, armed with hope and optimism, decided to get ahead of things and put together this list of festivals for 2021. Some have already have been scheduled and confirmed by the hosts while others are to be confirmed in the near future. Updates regarding the details and programs of annual festivals and specific dates for unconfirmed festivals as well as new events will be posted here and sent out through our mailing list.
Now as for reasons to plan your trip around the dates of a certain festival - Kyrgyz people throw feasts like no other. It’s part of our identity as well as our honor. In modern times we boast by buying big houses and expensive cars and nomadic Kyrgyz did by hosting feasts for thousands of people.
Cattle was cut without any spare –
People were invited to the generous feast.
The luxurious celebration lasted for ninety days
– The tables were heavy with tasty foods.
And people remembered for a long time
That ninety day-long feast.
- Manas Epic
If you are planning to attend a festival I’d advise you to go not as a guest but by arriving one day early and ask to assist with the preparations. I, as a Kyrgyz, never liked being the guest at weddings, anniversaries and other tois (toi - celebration, gathering, wedding), but i absolutely love being in the back where an organized chaos happens to feed the 300+ guests in the main hall. As soon as you step out to the outdoor cooking area you automatically become part of the "gang" that serves the guests. It might seem like a lot of work, but it comes with its own rewards - short toasts with shots of kyrgyz cognac, occasional pieces of juicy meat from the kasapchy (person who cooks the meat) who’s sudden cognac fueled generosity will grant you access to the main pot with the meat. And of course, the crème de la crème of the whole operation - fresh boorsok fished out of the kazan seconds earlier. The feeling of being part of this all is oen of the things that makes me feel Kyrgyz the most.
Date: January 25
Location: Arslanbob , Jalalabat Region
Ski Challenge festivals takes place in Jalalabad which hosts the biggest natural walnut forest in the world. Apart from various skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing challenges in ones of the most scenic winter wonderlands you’ll be rewarded with Kyrgyz- Uzbek folk concert and cuisine.
Date: March 21
Nowruz marks the first day of spring and is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on 21 March. It is celebrated as the beginning of the new year by more than 300 million people all around the world and has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions.
Inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a cultural tradition observed by numerous peoples, Nowruz is an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. It promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities
Jaichy Agro-Ethno-Festival 2021
Date: July 3
Location: Jaichy Agro Yurt Camp, Issyk Kul
The 2nd annual agro-ethno-festival at Jaichy. The festival in Jaichy celebrates cultural heritage, traditions, life, handicraft, cattle breeding and history of the Kyrgyz nomadic people.
Festival program and etails to be announced
Ethno-Fest Teskey Jeek 2021
Date: July 15
Location: House of Manaschi Sayakbay Karalayev, Tong, Issyk Kul
The Teskey-Jeek Ethno-Fest will take place on July 15th, 2021, in Issyk-Kul's South Shore. During this day, you will have a unique opportunity to see and take part in different Kyrgyz nomadic traditions and performances such as golden eagle hunting (Salbuurun), yurt-building competition, horseback and national games, traditional music, handicraft demonstrations and traditional Kyrgyz cooking, etc
Birds Of Prey Festival 2021
Date: August 17
Location: Jaichy, Ysyk kol region, Kek Say village
The Birds of Prey Festival is a must-see if you plan a visit in the area of Issyk kul's South Shore on August 14th, 2021. It takes place every year in the beginning of the month. Fifteen falconers from around Issyk kul's compete here with their eagles, hawks and falcons.
This tradition was born in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia. Since ancient times, birds of prey were used by hunters and warriors. They caught young chicks at home and train them to hunt animals. Golden Eagle or falcon were treated as a member of family. Later, during Middle age, it became popular in Europe. Did you know that one bird is able to feed a full village ? Now, birds of prey are mostly used for folklore and sport.
During Birds of Prey Festival, you can see demonstration of hunting with a Golden Eagle, traditional kyrgyz games like Arkan, Tartmay, Zholuk or Tastamay, folklore show, exhibition and sale of handicrafts and souvenirs and of course taste kyrgyz cuisine.
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