By Laman Ismayilova
With its rich and ancient culture, Gadabay region of Azerbaijan has plenty to show off. Surrounded with mountain forests and poppy fields, the region welcomes many travelers from around the world.
Yaylag National Festival of Nomadic Culture was solemnly held in Gadabay region on July 26-28. The festival aimed to promote nomadic culture and community traditions in Azerbaijan.
The event was attended by senior officials of the organizing structures and partners, official representatives of the state and government, diplomats, representatives of 16 countries, including the President of the World Ethnosport Confederation Bilal Erdogan, as well as local and foreign guests.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the festival, the head of the Gadabay Executive Power Ibrahim Mustafayev welcomed the participants and noted that the main purpose of organizing the National Festival of Nomadic Culture was to demonstrate the rich and centuries-old cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people, formed by centuries of nomadic and community culture, unique samples of culture and historical monuments as well as revealing the tourist potential of the territory.
In the ethno-settlement called "The Land of Nomadic Culture", thematic zones were created with a hippodrome, a nomadic culture market, artisan corner, a pen for the animals, etc.
The festival can be divided into three parts: cultural and ethnographic, national-nomadic (sports games) and eco-ethnic tourism.
Art of Azerbaijani Ashigs, national dances (yalli, jangi), folk songs, ancient folk games were presented. The guests of the festival tried dishes of nomadic culinary, including dovga, choban buglamasi, saj gutabs, kebabs, etc. In addition, samples of applied art were demonstrated.
The festival also featured ancient yorga horse competitions at various distances and in different categories, wrestling competitions, horse races, shepherd wrestling, walking on a tightrope and shooting from the bow.
Yaylag National Festival of Nomadic Culture was co-organized by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Javad Khan History and Culture Foundation, Gadabay Executive Power in partnership with Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Agriculture, the State Tourism Agency, Agency for Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development, Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation and the World Ethnosport Confederation.
Gadabay is home to a plethora of astounding natural attractions, historical monuments that are located all over the region.
Spectacular forest meadows in midlands, broad-leaved forests, subalpine and alpine meadows at the top of mountains occupy the greatest territory of region. Gadabay is famous for its hand embroidery, carpet weaving, wood and metal carving.
Thanks to its historic castles and eye-catching landscapes, Gadabay is a wonderful site to behold nature in all its beauty. One will be rewarded with unforgettable impressions, a profound sense of relaxation and a feeling of being one with nature.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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