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Eagle Festival in Mongolia

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

Mongolian Eagle hunters in History

The hunting is one of the integral pieces of nomadic life. The nomadic hunters one of the unique traditions is what they use raptors in the hunt. The eagle hunting tradition has begun from central Asian nomadic past 6000 years ago.

Therefore, Mongolia is the best country which can retain eagle hunting. The culture of hunting raptor has already started since Turkic, and remain on stone statues of that time.

The French herald Rubruck wrote in the journal of the arrival in Mongolia from 1253 to 1255 that nomads used to take raptors with wear eye bracket on their hands.

Moreover, Marco Polo wrote his journal, that Great Khan and his ten thousand soldiers used to hunt with 500 falcons Nowadays raptor or eagle hunting is one of the pieces of the national culture. In 2010, UNESCO inscribed Falconry to its Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The nomination of falconry is a multi-national submission that was supported by the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO as well as the Association for Eagle Hunters of Mongolia, which commended eagle hunting as an ancient cultural practice of the Kazakh people that has been transmitted over generations.

Modern Eagle festival in Mongolia

Nowadays, eagle hunting is not just a tradition but also has attracted the attention of foreign tourists. “The Golden eagle festival” become twice a year to protect eagle hunting tradition and increase tourist. In Mongolia, Eagle festival has organised since 2000.

It is hosted in every first seven weeks of October in Bayan-Ulgii province on the annual Autumn Fair Altai Mountains, while in the spring it becomes Ulaanbaatar city. You can discover this amazing culture and customs with our Mongolia tours.

The golden eagle festival organises the same competition. The first of all, participants wear nationality clothes that Kazakh ethics unique dresses and do horse parade while sitting own domestic eagle on the hand. The next, main activity of the festival become that check eagles hunting ability.

Finally, eagle hunters call own eagles from the mountainside when eagles locate on top of a mountain. Moreover, judges give a point and choose a winner which eagle most quickly come on the owner’s hand with a beautiful fly.

Furthermore, eagles hunt an unnatural animal to check eagles hunting and eye ability. Currently, there are almost 400 eagle hunters in Mongolia. 80% of all eagle hunters are 30-70 years old, and they learn eagle hunting tradition from father, relatives and friends. You can meet them in our western Mongolia tours.

Two hundred sixty of all eagle hunters feed 1 to 6 eagles and the highest until 50 eagles. In Bayan-Olgii province, Mongolian Falconry Association established in 2002.

Moreover, there are 380 members in Mongolian Falconry Association. In recent years, eagle hunting amateurs are increasing, so people are supporting eagle hunting and recycle scrubbed feather of an eagle to increase eagle hunter’s income.

Mongolian Falconry Association contracted about buy scrubbed eagle feather for 15 years with All Japan Archery Federation.

They buy longer than 25sm feathers to make archery. The eagle hunters use so many details that tree to sit eagle, eagle’s eye bracket called “Tomaga”, trough, foot tie, tether, triangle tree to sit eagle on the hand, tube to drink, stomach cleaner called “Koya”, small unnatural animals, foot and claw protection, diaper, trap, and other details.

About Mongolian Eagle hunters