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12:24 | Jul 05 | 2013


Ysyakh is a national Yakut holiday. June 22 is the longest day in the Yakut calendar, the first day of the solstice. He signalizes beginning of organizational ritual holiday Ysyakh - New Year reception. Ysyakh is a traditional festival of the Sakha people, symbolizing a meeting of summer and nature awakening, which blesses a union of strengths and opportunities of the people for creativity, prosperity and abundance.

Ysyakh is a spring-summer celebration in honor of the deities Aiyy and rebirth of nature, accompanied by a praying ritual, plentiful refreshments, drinking of kumis (beverage made from fermented mare’s milk), dances, national games and horse races.

This year's Ysyakh of Tuymaada was dedicated to the Year of Environment Protection in Russia, the Year of a Village in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Year of Improvement in Yakutsk.

On July 29 and 30 Us Khatyn site held city Ysyakh dedicated to the deity of horse breeding Dyohogoi Aiyy. Therefore, the main activities were connected with the cult of the animal. Thus, this Ysyakh started a round-the-world journey of Yakutian horses, which would pass America, Europe, Russia and finish at Ysyakh of Tuymaada in 2015.

This year's festival was visited by 165,000 guests. Every year Ysyakh is visited by more and more foreign guests and residents of the central regions of Russia.

Three kites appeared in the ski during the opening of the festival. According to the Yakut legends, it was a happy auspice.

The President Egor Borisov congratulated the people of Yakutia on the national holiday with the words: “Dear residents and guests of the capital of our republic, I congratulate you on Ysyakh! Today we are celebrating the holiday, passed on from generation to generation. This tradition is connected with the finale of severe winter and joy of summer meeting with formation of new tasks for the coming future”.

The first President of Yakutia, Mikhail Nikolaev, said: “There is a philosophy of the Sakha people in Ysyakh”.

After congratulatory speeches, deputies of the State Assembly Il Tumen planted 70 birches.

There were over 70 cultural programs held on 30 sites. Over 800 artists took part in the opening ceremony of Ysyakh.

The main events of this year’s holiday were opening of the new racecourse with 5,000 places, horse racing, a sports event “Games of Dygyn”, a contest of directing singers of Osuokhay and a ceremony of the sun meeting.

Horse races consisted of 14 races with the participation of 11 teams, where a team from Gorny region took the first place. The competition “Games of Dygyn” invited everyone to contest in seven sports: Yakut jump, twirl, khapsagay wrestling, archery, mas-wrestling, run after a girl (400 meters) and carrying of a stone (weighing 116 kg). In addition, a small concert venue held live music concerts.

The grand opening was finished with a massive circular dance Osuokhay with the participation of most people coming down from all stands.

One of the main rites of Ysyakh is the rite of the sun meeting; the Sakha people believe that the rays of a dawn sun energize them for the next year. Traditionally, people gather at the ritual serge on a rise at three in the morning to meet the sun.

During the closing ceremony all participants were blessed in algys and charged the energy of the sacred site Us Khatyn.

Viktoria Gurjeva

Fhoto by Maksim U