Sheep Festival takes place in Tuv aimagArt & Culture
Tuv /MONTSAME/ Over 80 people attended the Sheep Festival 2020 organized for the sixth year in Tuv aimag on July 25 by Bayansonginot Herders Cooperative of Altanbulag soum of Tuv aimag, the local government, and Khustai National Park Protection Authority.
The event was attended by Director of the Tourism Policy Coordination Department at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism S.Bayasgalan and other guests from the Ecological Police Unit, Khustai National Park Protection Authority, Department of Environment and Tourism of Tuv aimag, U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, Bayansonginot, and the local Mongol Tuurgatan theater.
Ms. S.Bayasgalan said, “The aimag’s Sub Program for Tourism Development includes plans to intensify tourism development through the promotion of local customs, traditions, history, culture, landscapes, nomadic culture, and nomads. The Sheep Festival 2020 is part of the many tourism-related works being carried out in the aimag. Many local tourists are attending this year’s festival.It also gives a great opportunity to promote Mongolian culture and traditions to our younger generation"
The festival features numerous activities promoting traditional culture and customs such as authentic felt making, tasting of five types of tea, traditional milk vodka making, camel wool spinning, wool beating, sheep tying, best male sheep contest, and various games.
At the tea tasting event, guests tried out raspberry tea, milk tea with air-dried beef jerky, Kuril tea, milk tea with millet, and rosehip tea that all benefit health in different ways. The women making them said the tea tastes vary region to region.
An elderly woman named G.Buzenkhuu from Altanbulag soum of Tuv aimag who annually takes part in the festival was serving traditional milk vodka to the guests.
Herder families were also selling fresh home-made dairy products, such as aaruul (dried curds), eezgii (caramelized curds), urum (clotted cream), ghee, bread, and byaslag (traditional cheese) in an annual dairy product fair at the festival, raising their household incomes. It is noteworthy that some people come to the festival only for the dairy products.
Among the things that drew much attention from the festival participants were traditional knuckle-bone games, airag (fermented mare’s milk) tasting event, Mongolian traditional household items, felt cushions, traditional clothing deel, and gifts made from felt.
Head of Protection Authority of Khustai National Park Ts.Dashpurev said the annual Sheep Festival aims to promote tourism and attract more tourists.
The festival visitors took part in contests in five teams. Ambassador of the United States to Mongolia Michael S. Klecheski who gained a better understanding of the daily routine of herders during his first participation in the event noted their hard-working attitude.