Making airag in khokhuur registered by UNESCO

The technique of making Airag in Khokhuur and its associated customs is the 15th element to be registered by Mongolia on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This new addition includes the traditional method of making airag – a fermented beverage made from mare’s milk – and the related equipment, such as the khokhuur (cowhide vessel), the buluur (paddle) and the khovoo (kibble), associated with the social customs and rituals. The basic airag-making technique consists of milking the mares, cooling the fresh milk, and repeatedly churning it inside the khokhuur – over 500 times – with a fermentation starter already put in.

Since its joining in UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, a total of 14 cultural elements of Mongolia have been inscribed in the 2008-2019 list. They includes:

On the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

  1. Traditional music of the Morin Khuur (2008)
  2. Urtiin duu, traditional folk long song (2008)
  3. Naadam, Mongolian traditional festival (2010)
  4. Mongolian traditional art of khoomei (2010)
  5. Falconry, a living human heritage (together with 12 other nations) (2016)
  6. Traditional craftsmanship of the Mongol Ger and its associated customs (2013)
  7. Mongolian knuckle-bone shooting (2014)

On the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding:

  1. Mongol Tuuli, Mongolian epic (2009)
  2. Mongol Biyelgee, Mongolian folk dance (2009)
  3. Traditional music of the Tsuur (2009)
  4. Mongolian traditional art of khoomei (2010)
  5. Mongolian Calligraphy (2013)
  6. Coaxing ritual for camels (2015)
  7.  Mongolian traditional practices of worshipping the sacred sites (2017)