Central Asia Events & Festivals for 2018
Central Asia has some of the unique festivals and events that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. Our list includes events that can be interesting to travelers visiting this region, events that showcase the cultural heritage of Central Asia during major tourist season. Thus, our Central Asia Events & Festival for 2018 covers the period between July and October. Most of the festivals will take place in Kyrgyzstan, because the festivals are organized by Community Based Tourism groups that are present practically only in Kyrgyzstan. Enjoy the celebrations and let us know how was your Central Asia trip.
Events & Festivals for July
On July 6, 1994, it was decided that Astana will become the new capital of the independent Kazakh Republic. In 1998 Akmola was renamed to Astana, which in Kazakh means capital. In 2018, it is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Astana usually hosts big celebrations dedicated to this national holiday. There will be also some celebratory events at the shopping malls and public places.
When: July 6, 2018
Where: Astana, Kazakhstan
Spirit of Astana, Kazakhstan
Open Air Contemporary Ethnic Music Festival will take place at the square next to Bayterek tower. It is part of Astana’s anniversary celebrations.
When: July 6-8, 2018
Where: Bayterek, Astana, Kazakhstan
Ethno-Fest South Shore, Kyrgyzstan
Local festival that showcases Kyrgyz culture. The program includes a folklore show, exhibitions of local masters of handicrafts, demonstration of ethnic horse games, and cooking master class. It will start in the morning at around 9.30 with the registration of the guests and the closing ceremony is planned for 16.30 in the evening.
When: July 15, 2018, 09:30 -16:30
Where: Ton Village, House of Manaschi
More information available at https://southshorekg.com/festivals/
This is a unique festival concentrated on traditional types of hunting that were practiced by the nomad people. There will be a demonstration of eagle hunting, archery competitions among boys and girls, as well as an exhibition of Kyrgyz Taigan or greyhound dogs.
When: July 21, 2018, 10.00 – 16.00
Where: Uch-Korgon village, Issyk Kul region
Yak and national horse games festival
Demonstration of traditional horse games and very special wrestling on yaks. For more entertainment, there will be a folklore show with traditional singing, dancing and cooking.
When: July 22, 2018
Where: Sary Mogol village, Chon Alay region
More information on their website
Watch the demonstration of national horse games and enjoy national songs, dance performance and try local specialties of Kyrgyz cuisine. If you must choose one festival to visit, go to Song Kul. It is a spectacular lake of unusual beauty at an altitude of around 3000 meters above sea level. Beautiful mountains, yurts and traditional games…
When: July 25, 2018
Where: North-eastern shore of Song-Kul Lake, Batai-Aral Yurt Camp
Horse Games Festival, Kyzyl Oi, Kyrgyzstan
Enjoy national horse games and traditional folklore show at gorgeous Suusamyr valley. It is just around 4 hours drive from the capital city, Bishkek.
When: 29 July, 2018, 9:00 – 19:00
Where: Kyzyl Oi village, Suusamyr Valley
Events & Festivals in August
Apricot Festival, Kyrgyzstan
Apricots are widespread around Issyk Kul lake, this festival is dedicated to harvesting season and stresses on the importance of agriculture to this region.
When: August 4, 2018, 10:00-17:00
Where: Kekilik beach, Ton village
Birds of Prey Festival, Kyrgyzstan
Watch an impressive demonstration of traditional hunting with the help of an eagle. The show will be followed by numerous folklore shows, dances and songs. There will be also the exhibition of traditional handicrafts and art objects. You can also learn some moves from traditional dance Kara Jorgo and watch how the traditional felt carpets are made.
When: August 11, 2018
Where: Jaichy Yurt Camp, Kok Say village near Bokonbaevo
Jump into Traditional Kyrgyz Music
Young musicians and composers get together and will play traditional Kyrgyz music instruments.
When: August 15-16, 2018
Where: Bel Tam Yurt Camp, near Bokonbaevo, Issyk Kul region
International Festival of Eco-Ethno Orientation, Kazakhstan
FourE – is an open-air festival that revolves around 4 themes that start with a letter E- Eco, Ethno, Emotion & Evolution. These broad concepts include indeed various music, workshops and cultural events. Unlike other open-air festivals, it forbids use of alcoholic beverages and tobacco, so it is kind of an open air that stresses more on its spiritual side of having fun.
Where: Almaty Region, 35 km from Almaty city
When: August 17-19, 2018
More information on this event you can find on their official website
Independence Day of Kyrgyzstan
When: August 31, 2018
Where: Main public squares in all cities of Kyrgyzstan
Events & Festivals in September
Independence Day of Uzbekistan
Big celebrations at main city squares and folk concerts and traditional food.
When: September 1, 2018
Where: In all cities of Uzbekistan
The largest and truly nomadic festival in whole Central Asia. It takes place once every two years and it is an event that you should not miss. There will be around 3000 athletes competing in a variety of nomadic games such as wrestling, archery and equestrian games.
When: September 2-8, 2018
Where: Cholpon-Ata, Issyk Kul region, Kyrgyzstan
Independence Day of Tajikistan
When: September 9, 2018
Where: Public Squares in major cities of Tajikistan
Nukura Fest, Kyrgyzstan
Nukura means authentic, so you will get to see authentic Kyrgyz traditions, songs, dance and cuisine. For foodies, there will be also food tasting and master classes of Kyrgyz traditional cuisine.
When: September 17, 2018
Where: University of Central Asia, Naryn, Kyrgyzstan
Before attending events, please double check with their official websites or their social media accounts, since there can be changes on short notice. Keep in mind that you will need to register or buy tickets to be able to attend the festivals.