Tuvan festivals continue to generate significant international acclaim and draw visitors from countries around the globe. Every summer the Tuvan Ministry of Culture collaborates with leading cultural officials across Tuva to develop festivals that highlight and celebrate Tuvan cultures while offering the opportunity for foreign visitors to participate in Tuva’s rich heritage.
Tuva’s most well known festival–the International Throat Singing Symposium–is held every 3-5 years and attracts hundreds of musicians from Tuva and countries around the world. For three days, symposium participants attend concerts performed by Tuva’s leading throat singing ensembles, enjoy privileged access to academic conferences with the world’s leading experts on Tuvan and other Siberian cultures, visit the Tuvan National Museum, participate in the symposium’s opening celebrations and parades in downtown Kyzyl, and are offered the opportunity to compete during the symposium’s famed throat singing competition.
As Tuvans share cultural bonds with Mongolia and other Central Asian nations, Tuvans host a Naadam celebration annually. Naadam
brings together athletes from across Tuva to compete in Tuva’s most famous and beloved sports: wrestling, horse racing, and archery. The festival typically lasts three days and is held just outside Tuva’s capital, Kyzyl. Visitors may explore Tuvan art and craftsmanship on display in the festival’s collection of vendor booths, sample Tuvan artisan foods, participate in Tuvan cultural workshops, and celebrate with Tuvans. Naadam’s main events provide visitors the rare opportunity to observe Tuva’s finest athletes as they compete for national fame and recognition.
Ustu Xuree is Tuva’s first major international music festival and is held annually in Tuva’s third largest city, Chadaana. Ustu Xuree translates to “Ancient Temple”, and bears the subtitle: An International Festival of Live Music and Belief. Tuvan artist Igor Dulush founded the festival in 1999, in order to promote Tuvan culture and raise money to restore a Buddhist temple demolished during the Soviet era. Festival attendants participate in parades and other activities leading up to the festival’s three days of live music, as well as visit the site of the temple. Ustu Xuree continues to attract international visitors and musicians fostering innovative musical collaborations, and in recent years, has moved considerably closer to its goal of restoring the temple.
In addition to the above major celebrations, Tuvans also produce a variety of local, minor festivals each summer that celebrate Tuvan arts, music, sports, and beliefs. TravelTuva clients are encouraged to attend Tuvan festivals while visiting Tuva, and we are more than happy to provide you access to advance registration for any of Tuva’s ticketed events. Please feel free to Contact Us to learn more about Tuva’s festivals and to include festival attendance in your TravelTuva itinerary.