The first National Yaylag Festival, aimed at promoting and preserving the traditions of highland and nomadism, has kicked off in Duzyurd-Miskinli highland in Gadabay district of Azerbaijan.
The event is co-organized by the Turkish Cooperation And Coordination Agency (TCCA), Javad Khan History and Culture Foundation and Gadabay District Executive Authority in partnership with Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Agriculture, the State Tourism Agency, Agency for Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development and other government agencies.
The Festival which features three parts such as cultural and ethnographic, national highland sports and eco-ethnotourism, brings together local participants and tourists, as well as a great number of honorary guests from foreign countries.
The Festival provides a unique opportunity for folk artists to perform at the national level. It will feature Ashug contest, national dances (yalli, jangi), folk songs, live theatre, performances, ancient folk games, pasture culinary examples, trade fair of applied art samples, trade fair of highland and specific agricultural goods, as well as presentation of culture and music by ethnic groups living in Azerbaijan (talishs, jews, avars, sahurs, lezgins) as demonstration of tolerance and multiculturalism in Azerbaijan.
The second thematic part of the festival - national highland games will feature racing horse contests of ancient roots, national games on horseback, national sports games and exemplary performances.
As part of the last thematic part of the festival, eco-ethnotourism, local participants and tourists will be offered accommodation in old traditional yurts and huts in the special ethno-settlement. They will enjoy travelling to the traditional “Yaylaq yurd” of the 18th century. Spending a day in the ethno-settlement, experiencing the same lifestyle, pasturing cows or sheep (goats), milking, mowing grass (building haystacks), taking care of horses, churning, engaging in applied arts, cooking and tasting national culinary samples. This part also includes hiking tours to famous places of Gadabay-Goja Mountain, Gadabay Maiden tower, Mahrasa monastery, Koroghlu castle, as well as horse-riding and trips to various interesting places of Gadabay and other places.
The Festival will run until July 28.