Date: 21 & 22 February
Location: Khar Us Nuur, Khovd province
Festival gathers nomads of Western Mongolia on the ice of protected national park Khar Us Nuur. Khar About 40 km to the east of Khovd city is Khar Us Nuur (Black Water Lake), the second-largest freshwater lake (15,800 sq km) in Mongolia with an average depth of only 4km. The National park located near the Great Lake Depression lowland covering a large area of desert steppe and semi-desert environment, plays a decisive role in climate formation and composes a special ecological environment. Khovd Gol flows into this lake, creating a giant marsh delta. It’s a home and last refuge for rare wildlife species. The goal of the festival is to raise awareness of locals in wildlife conservation and bring positive attitude and change of behaviours towards wildlife. The origin of festival is a beautiful story. For several years’ Dalmatian pelicans stopped coming to this lake where many endangered species of water birds come in summer to breed. However Dalmatian pelicans returned to lake few years later and to celebrate this joyful event, WWF-Mongolia initiated the festival. Festival include various winter sports and competitions such as skating, ice shooting, marathon, camel race etc. Khovd province is home to many ethnic groups of Mongolia each proudly show their own distinct, ethnic characteristics in traditional clothing, dwelling, music and lifestyle. Locals show off their rich cultural heritage by performing a lots of music and dances.