Ysyakh Part 1

Photos from national holiday

This photo reportage is kindly presented by professional photographer, Maria Doubrovskaya

Part-1. The beginning

Yh yakh is the Yakut New Year. It is the symbol of welcome summer and the awakening of nature. The Yakut ancestor brought this celebration from central Asian steppes. In the beginning it was concerned with the cult of Sun divinity and with traditional economical activity.
The Yakuts celebrated Yh yakh as the holiday of renovation of nature and Human being. Traditionally, the address to supreme yakut divinities Iyh was the culmination of celebration. Competition of olonhosuts (narrator of folk tales), round dance Osoyochay, kumyus drinking (kumyus is fermented mare’s milk), sport competitions are obligatory elements of Yh yakh.
As for me, it was the best Yh yakh. I spent two days and finally took part in the ceremony of sun greeting, drank kumyus, was at the great concert, and even pass through the purgation ceremony.

Yus Chatyun

Yh yakh was held in Yus Chatyun locality, 25 km from Yakutsk

Ahn art-the entry archway and greeting people.

Ahn art

Yus Chatyun

Within two days I furrowed this place walking, boating, and riding. There are thousands of people.I wonder how many people were there simultaneously, I think no less than 6-7 thousands.


Parfait. Granny is wearing the set of decoration made from birch’s bark.


Yh yakh is welcome holiday for Sakha people, they wait for it for a year, and prepare beforehand: they sew festive clothes and make attire. People go to the holiday in festive clothes and it is not just the etiquette principle, but strong tradition. Different rites and ceremonies are held on Yh yakh. Costume has the historical purport. People of different age take part in national clothes competition for saving traditions.

This kids have danced just amazing, touching and funny dance with prickets. I have not seen something like that before! I have seen for the first time such bright glass beads Byustangi (head-decoration).

This young man is Mister Yakutia-2004.

Mister Yakutia-2004

The beginning of opening ceremony.

Something simulated hares symbolized spirits. Somebody said that it were white horses that is funny.


The main hare Algyuschiet(the well-wisher) is making fire and ask the spirits of fire and earth to send down well-being, cattle increase, happiness


Hundreds of adult and children, horses, reindeers and cows took part in the opening ceremony.

A part of national costume in 1887.

A part of national costume

Smoke break

All evil spirits ran out into the field and dispersed “good gays”.

Evil spirits

Then was “Happy end”, good gays came back and…

…started dance Osoyochay. The round dance Osoyochay symbolized vicious living circle. Dancing people are going by sun course, making circulation through time and space. Everybody sing in choir, joining hands and repeating words after the leader of choir.



Part-2. Ethnic music >>>


Part-3. Night, daybreak, the sun greeting ceremony >>>


Part-4. Miscellaneous >>>