ICE FESTIVAL AT KHUVSGUL LAKEThe unique ice festival of the Blue Pearl
CELEBRATE ONSET OF SPRING WITH ICE FESTIVAL
In early March, travelers from across Mongolia head to the northernmost part of the country bordering Russia’s Siberia. Braving the winter freeze—that sometimes falls below minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit—crowds gather on Lake Khuvsgul to celebrate the long, cold season. The largest freshwater lake in Mongolia, Khuvsgul belongs to the elite club of "ancient lakes" for having existed for more than one million years. Frozen from November to May, Lake Khuvsgul becomes a glacial playground during the annual Khuvsgul Festival of Ice. For two days, a flurry of events covers the lake: horse sleigh races, ice sumo, archery competitions, bone-throwing games, ice sculpture contest, and more—all taking place in the frigid cold on thick, slippery ice. Festivalgoers wear traditional costumes that represent Mongolia's 21 diverse regions. A fire-burning ceremony honors the strong, shamanic beliefs of the region, capping the festival's vibrant celebrations.
DRIVE ACROSS THE DEEPEST LAKE IN THE WORLD