National entertainment occupies a prominent place in the life of Kyrgyz people. Various ethno-games and competitions are extremely popular. They are also one of the most important elements of nomadic culture, as they helped to develop the necessary skills and qualities of nomads: riding skill, strength, agility, endurance and accuracy.
The most popular game is a horse race. At a funeral or on holidays horse races were held over long distances. This competition is called at-chabysh. Only horses of great endurance can take part in it, so that they would overcome a distance of up to 100 km. The competition called “jorgo-salysh” is similar to al-chabysh, but the style of riding in it is amble (when a horse's hooves are raised and lowered to the ground in pairs).
The game ulak-tartysh is extremely popular now. It is a struggle of riders for a goat carcass. The game is played by two teams consisting of 2-3 men, on a wide area. The main purpose is to shoot the "goat carcass" (“ulak”), weighing about 40 kg, in the opposing team's goal. The game is very active and really exciting. Participants throw to each other, capture it from the opponents, pick it up from the floor and deftly ride a horse with it.
The romantic game kyz kuumai is translated as "catch the girl". It involves a young man and a girl. The essence of the game is that the girl is given the best horse and a certain handicap in the distance, and the guy on a usual horse should catch up to her and kiss or touch her lightly with his headdress.
The extraordinary sights are also such games as oodarysh (a struggle between two riders on horseback), tyiyn enmey (raising skill coin from the ground at full gallop), and jamby atmai (shooting a gun at a target at full gallop).
A favorite competition of athletes has always been a kind of belt wrestling kyuresh. Its main purpose is to make an opponent fall down without removing the hands from his belt. Both adults and children like play alchiks (“ordo”).
A kind of singing competitions aitysh is really unique. It attracts a large number of spectators who have the ability to evaluate the skill of folk poets “akyns”.
No holiday celebration is complete without a teeter made of wood and rope called “selkinchek”. Two persons usually teeter together, a boy and a girl. In the places where the teeter is set, there is always a lot of young people and you can hear their ringing voices and laughter.
Thus, ethno-games often take place during major holidays. They can attract a large number of participants and spectators from all over the village.