Welcome to the Eco-Friendly Ice Festival

Art & Culture
2023-01-04 09:40:02

Khovd /MONTSAME/. Khar-Us lake, one of Mongolia's biggest lakes, is located in Khovd aimag. The lake extends 72 km (45 miles) long and 26 km (16 miles) wide, with an area of 1153 km2. Its southern banks are overhung with reeds and there is an island in the middle of the lake. 


In total, 270 bird species from 35 families under 17 orders were recorded in the Khar-Us lake National Park. It is possible to watch and take pictures of endangered birds, including the dalmatian pelican, white-headed duck, and relict gull, and other common birds, such as gulls, ducks, and gooses in this park. There are seven species of pelicans in the world and in Mongolia, we have only one, the dalmatian pelican. Although dalmatian pelicans pass through several Mongolian lakes, they lay eggs only in Khar-Us lake, according to ornithologists. In recent years, professional organizations have started studying birds around this lake and bird watching tour has become a specific tour offer for this region. With consistent efforts of local herders and the Khovd office of WWF, now the population of endangered dalmatian pelicans has reached over 80.


An ordinary gathering of herders to celebrate their success and efforts in protecting endangered dalmatian pelican, with the motto of “Love wild nature and animals”, became the start of this “Silver Reed Cluster” ice festival.  


The ice festival is organized to promote Mongolia internationally, revive winter tourism, and develop winter sports. In the winter, 10 thousand domestic and foreign tourists come to take part in this ice festival, especially to visit this Khar-Us National Park. It shows that the “Silver Reed Cluster” ice festival has already become a popular attraction for tourists. 

“The Silver Reed Cluster” ice festival which started by protecting the dalmatian pelicans, stand out from other festivals by allowing people to enjoy the unique culture and historical tangible and intangible heritage of 13 ethnic groups, including zakhchin, myangad, uuld and torguud, reside in Khovd aimag at once. Since 2009, the ice festival has been organized once every two years. The industry specialists emphasized the scope expansion of this ice festival, aiming to protect wild nature and promote culture and heritage, and the positive trend in the population of Dalmatian pelicans to increase year by year.

 The government of Mongolia has announced 2023-2025 as “The Years to visit Mongolia”, thereby the “Silver Reed Cluster” ice festival is going to be organized on January 21-22, in Khovd aimag. Based on the public-private partnership, the professional organizations of the tourism and hospitality industry exchanged their opinions and developed a calendar for international events to be organized in Mongolia in 2023. In total, 22 events, aimed at promoting Mongolia internationally, reviving the tourism sector, improving the economy, and increasing investment are included in this calendar. One of those events is the 9th “Silver Reed Cluster” ice festival. The officials of Khovd aimag pointed out that they were planning to organize the ice festival in an eco-friendly way.