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Festivals and Holidays


Festivals & Events Calendar

Felt Festival starts in Early of July: Kochkor Village surroundings - Display of the techniques of dying wool and manufacturing felt; an explanation of patterns and motifs used in traditional crafts; exhibition and sale of felt items and other handicrafts; weaving straw wall hangings (chiy); demonstration of how to erect a yurt

Cleaning up at Son-Kol Lake starts in Middle of July: Son-Kol Lake (100km from Kochkor Village)-Cleaning up; national group games (arkan tartmai, joluk tashtamai and others); folklore show; display of making national felt and woven items; song contest; campfire; horseback riding (optional) Shepherds' 

Festival on the jailoo Late July: One of the jailoos around Karakol - National horse games; folklore show; demonstration of falconry; sampling national cuisine dishes in a yurt camp; exhibition and sale of handicrafts

National Cuisine and Folklore Festival Late July: Jeti-Oguz Gorge, Kok-Jaiyk area, 55km from Karakol - Sampling the national cuisine dishes (Dungan, Kyrgyz, Russian, Ukrainian) in a yurt camp; folklore show; horseback riding (optional)

National Horse Games Festival Late July: One of the jailoos around Kochkor Village - National horse games; races; exhibition and sale of souvenirs, national cuisine and a folklore show; horseback riding (optional) 

Birds of Prey Festival Early August: Manzhyly-Ata area (Lake Yssyk-Kul, southern lakeshore)- Demonstration of falconry; sampling national dishes in a yurt camp; folklore show; exhibition and sale of souvenirs; visiting sacred places described in local legends

Saimaluu-Tash Festival Middle August: Kazarman Village and an open-air petroglyph gallery of Saimaluu-Tash - Presentation of Kyrgyzstan’s petroglyphs and the Saimaluu-Tash petroglyph gallery; exhibition of books, souvenirs and the figures devoted to Saimaluu-Tash; folklore concert; horseback tour to Saimaluu-Tash (with a night’s camping near the petroglyph gallery)

Kyrgyz Kochu Festival August: Son-Kul Lake - Traditional annual moving of households from valleys to high-altitude mountain pastures, jailoo. National music and cuisine, join in a demonstration of how to erect a yurt

Official national holidays are:

• January 1st – New Year’s Day

• January 7th – Orthodox Christmas

• February 23rd – Army Day (a male equivalent of International Women’s Day)

• March 8th – International Women’s Day

• March 21st – Nooruz (sometimes called a Muslim New Year)

• March 24th – the Anniversary of the March Revolution (March 24, 2004)

• May 1st – Labour Day

• May 5th – Constitution Day

• May 9th – Victory Day

• August 31st – Independence Day

• November 7th – the Anniversary of the October Revolution

In addition, there are two moveable feasts based on the Muslim calendar – Orozo Ait, the day of Sacrifice, and Kurman Ait, which marks the end of Ramadan. If a holiday falls on a weekend then parliament often decides to make the Friday or the Monday a non-working day instead.

This list is especially important for those wanting to cross Torugart and Irkeshtam – because the passes are closed at weekends and on holidays.