Celebrate Mongolia’s mighty winter on an ancient frozen lake. The Ice Festival is one of the main attractive winter festivals which offers a unique chance to sense and explore the fascinating and mysterious corner of the world during winter and is held on Khovsgol Lake. Measuring about 130 km long and up to 40 km wide, the dark blue lake is at the base of the permanently snow-capped Khoridol Saridag mountains and offers a mesmerising view. Being the country’s largest freshwater reserve (70 % of the country’s total) believed to be over a million years old and affectionately called “Dalai Eej” or Mother sea by Mongolians. Braving brutal temperature and winter freeze that sometimes falls below -20 degrees’, early March locals gather on Khovsgol lake to celebrate the long, cold season. For two days exciting activities unfold such as horse sleigh race, ice sumo, archery competition, ankle bone shooting game, elaborate ice sculpture contest, ice skating, tug of war, dog sledding and many more.
Rare occasion to witness the tradition and lifestyle of Mongolian reindeer herders who descend from taiga to lake, while the local shamans perform ritual with fire-burning ceremony.
Travelers on this tour will be given the opportunity to purchase traditional clothes and boots. The temperature in March can be below freezing and travelers will need to bring heavy winter jackets, gloves and hats to keep warm. Dressing in layers is highly recommended.