Yordynian Games - June 13 to 15, 2019
For centuries, Lake Baikal has been called the sacred sea, where people easily converse with spirits. A special place of power was considered Podlemorye, the shores of which are littered with “writings” with scenes of hunting and shamanistic dances. Shamans gathered around the Aya cliff every year to perform secret rites and prayers, proclaiming a universal truce. At the same time, nearby, around the low hill of Ehe Jord, their fellow tribesmen gathered for “naadan,” that is, “three games of husbands.” People met after a long separation, hunted, competed in strength and agility, danced, played weddings. The holiday ended with a universal round dance around the fells. Christianization of the region led to the prohibition of pagan custom.
Revival of the Yordynian Games
New "Yordoyn naadan" passed in 2000 after a century break. Then representatives of Buryatia, Yakutia, Agin and Ust-Orda autonomous districts participated in them. Since 2013, the festival has been included in the UNESCO calendar of events; preparations are underway for its inclusion in the List of Heritage of Humanity. The 2017 games became international; delegations from Mongolia, China and Korea came to them.
The official part is the ascension of the shamans to the top of Ehe Yord, the ignition of a fire from a juniper there and a long rite under the thunder of tambourines. And at this time, the competitions in “Buhe-barildaan” - the national wrestling, “Surkharbaan” - archery and “urildaan” —boats in rough terrain begin. According to the rules of martial arts there are no time limits, the loser is the one who touches the ground with any third point. The safety of life and herds has not been dependent on the ability to send an arrow to a target for a long time, but archers are respected and honored by the people. In the sports program, new types of competitions. From Yakutia came the pulling on sticks and carrying a heavy stone at a distance, from Mongolia - shearing the sheep for a while.
Modernity has added to the list also with the contest “The Beauty of the Yordyn Games”, where girls demonstrate not only faces, figures and hand-embroidered dresses, but also the ability to perform national songs and dances. In addition, each is obliged to treat the judges kumys of its preparation.
The fair of craftsmen’s crafts, the exhibition of national costumes “Threads of Time” are opening here, dance and choral ensembles are replaced on the stage. The culmination of the holiday is the universal dance "hatarha". Participants must complete a full circle, which requires at least 700 people. In ancient times, it happened that there were several round dances, people tread shoes to holes, dancing until the very morning.
Venue: Irkutsk Region, Olkhonsky District, Kotoruk District. http://erdy.ru/. GPS coordinates: 52.790981, 106.528888.
How to get there: by car from Irkutsk, follow the road 25H-013 to Bayandai, turn right to p. Elantsy, from there along a dirt road to the farm Yalga-Uzur. The distance is 220 km, the journey time is 4 hours. In the days of the festival a special bus leaves from Irkutsk.
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