Selena Travel

3 Most Amazing Winter Festivals in Mongolia

Posted by Selena Travel / 06 20, 2021

While it’s always a good time to visit Mongolia, if you come to catch one of the World-Famous festivals you won’t be disappointed. We’ve selected three of the best ones for tourists to visit.

These annual festivals happen mostly in early spring, so if you want to avoid peak travel times (and peak travel costs), you can do some awesome activities whenever your schedule allows!

Ice Festival at the Lake Lhuvsgul

Located in the Northern part of the country, the serene Khuvsgul Lake hosts one of the coolest festivals in the world. There are traditional Mongolian games, one of which involves shooting animals bones over a couple meters of ice, ice carving, skating and if you’re lucky, a ride in a car on the frozen lake.

It may even be possible to go ice fishing and catch a fresh fish to eat for dinner. Your Instagram posts will be epic – you can ride in a horse drawn sledge on the actual frozen lake and get some great photos in traditional Mongolian clothing.

Rest up in a ger while a wood-fire stove crackles in the evening, or spend the evening meeting interesting people from all over the world at one of the restaurants in town. Staying in Khuvsgul is always peaceful. There are many trails to hike, and animals to see.

You’ll likely see a golden eagle while you’re there. The Ice Festival is also a showcase for the Tsaatan people’s way of life. They’re known as the reindeer people, and traditionally make their livings entirely from the reindeer they herd through the forests. It happens every year in early March when the lake is most frozen. It’s sure to be a trip you’ll remember!

When: 02 March 2020 to  04 March 2020

Suggested read: When should you visit Mongolia? | Mongolia in Winter: Huvsgul Lake

Spring Eagle Festival

For those who aren’t able to get tickets to the fall Eagle Festival in remote Olgii, the spring Eagle festival is outside Ulaanbaatar and much easier to get to. There you can see many of the eagle hunters who compete in the fall festival, just a lot closer and one less plane ride away.

The eagle festival is an unforgettable showcase of eagle hunting prowess. These predominantly Kazakh hunters live in Western Mongolia and partner up with eagles to hunt for food. The hunters command their eagle partners and share the bounty.

This ancient practice is impressive to watch, as the hunters wear traditional fur clothing. This festival happens in late February, early March, just as it’s getting warmer in Mongolia.

When: 1 March 2020 to 2 March 2020

Suggested read: What to see during Spring Eagle Festival 

Camel Festival

Mongolians have a lot of love for their animals, and camels are ranked high among them. One of the traditional five animals they herd in Mongolia, the camel is integral to communities in the south of the country. They provide milk, fur and transportation for thousands of years. The Camel Festival, which happens in early March, is a celebration of everything camel.

The Camel Festival is a place for herders to showcase their animals. Bring your camera to capture some camel races and games of camel polo. The breathtaking Gobi Desert is the perfect backdrop for not only the camel pictures, but pictures of Mongolians in their traditional costumes. The festival hosts traditional dances and foods made from camel’s dairy, and maybe even some camel meat.

There are also a number of camel wool products to buy. Even though it’s in the Gobi Desert, it can get quite cold. Make sure to pick up a pair of camel wool socks and your stay in the ger will be nice and toasty!

When: 6 March 2020 to 8 March 2020

Suggested read: The largest camel race was successfully organized in Mongolian Gobi

These are only some of the festivals that happen in Mongolia during the winter. If you’re too late for one, there’s Naadam festivals in the summer, or other cultural events throughout the year. Now is the best time to book your trip to Mongolia!

Finally, we are happy to design your Mongolia trips, please take a look at your options, from group tours to independent trips, and private travel:

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