Last week, more than 10,000 Mongolians and foreign tourists and some 2,000 vehicles congregated at the village of Khatgal in the northern Khuvsgul aimag (province) . The reason - the 'Blue Pearl - 2017' ice festival which took place on the frozen Lake Khuvsgul. The lake is truly beautiful and is an ecological gem.
The Ice Festival has been organized since 2000, with the aim for promoting winter tourism. This year’s highlights included a show performed by the Hockey Club of Mongolia and dogsled tours.
Festival-goers also enjoyed taking photographs with the reindeer, the sixth type of livestock in Mongolia (along with the horses, cows, yaks, sheep and goats). They also had the opportunity of witnessing the lifestyle of the reindeer herders, native only to the Khuvsgul taiga. Amateur competitions, such as an ice-knuckle-bone throwing contest, a race of sled horses, tug-o-war, sumo wrestling and traditional costume shows, were held.
Five Ambassadors and professional photography teams from 12 countries participated in the ice festival. The number of festival-goers has almost doubled compared to that of 2016.