Traditional Ice Festival is celebrated in eco-friendly manner
This festival is held at the ice surface of protected Khar Us lake. And the birth of “Silver Reeds” festival has an interesting story behind it: it had been several years since Dalmatian pelicans stopped coming to this magnificent lake where many rare species of water birds arrive during summer. However, Dalmatian pelicans returned to the lake in 2009 thanks to WWF-Mongolia conservation activities.
To celebrate this special event, WWF-Mongolia initiated a public event that raised awareness of conservation of rare water birds, and organized this Festival with local communities, nature conservation administration on the shores of Khar Us lake. This activity targeted for nature conservation won hearts of local people, and started expanding from the succeeding year.
Following our annual tradition, this year’s “Silver Reeds” festival was celebrated on the ice of Khar Us lake, in February of 2018. Citizens of all soums of Khovd province and of other aimags participated in the event. Groups from every soum marched in dressed in their traditional costumes specific to their locations. It was a spectacular sight. Also ice sculptures of rare species with badges of explanation attached, became an informative exhibit for people who attended. During the festival, ice shooting, sports games and ‘Mongolians with traditional clothes’ activities took place.
WWF-Mongolia agitate the importance of nature and wildlife conservation, and citizen’s role in this were highly promoted among participants. According to the event organizers, over 18 thousand people attended the “Silver Reed” festival (10 thousand people attended last year), which proves the fact that is has become much anticipated celebration among the people.
As any large crowd gathering, it entails production of waste. But this year organizers haven’t encountered any major challenges in regards to this. The participants were cleaning after themselves and celebrated the festival in most eco-friendly way.