El-Oiyn, Altaian Nomadic Games

Bi-annual competition of Altaian people: horse-racing, wrestling, taming of horses and spectacular Kok-boru
July 2020, Altai Republic, Russia
Altai Republic, Russia
Once in two years leading Altai athletes gather together to find who is the strongest. It is called El-Oiyn, "the people's games".
For many centuries people of Altai esteem traditions of nomads. Today, when majority of population live in settlements, these traditions are still strong.

The pinnacle of this culture is El-Oiyn, the main and the most beloved festival of Altaian people, so called "Altaian Nomadic Games".
Once in two years, athletes from all corners of the Altai Republic gather together for traditional competitions. This event is called El-Oiyn, "the people's games", and for many years it is the most popular event for local people.

It is a nomadic event, so every time it moves between districts of Altai Republic. In 2020, El Oiyn will take place on July 2-4. The event lasts for 3 days, when you can watch traditional competitions, meet throat singers and people who preserve traditions of Altai.
Ei-Oiyn consists of 12 traditional sport competitions of Altaian people, here are the major ones:

Horse racing for the Governor's prize, the most prestigious competition. Winner receives a tractor, a car or another valuable prize.

Kokboru, a horseback "rugby" with a goat carcass, where teams attempt to put a goat into a "pot", a goal.

Horse taming: teams of horse tamers have to saddle and ride wild horses.

Kuresh: traditional wrestling of Turkic people, included into the UNESCO List of Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The festival lasts for three days. The duration of the shortest travel program to visit the event is 2 days (if you are really, really busy, and want to see only the festival), while we suggest at least 6 days of travel program: then there's enough time to drive around the spectacular Altai mountains, which makes this trip very scenic.
Tours to El-Oiyn Festival
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Alex Permyakov
Russian Expeditions founder
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