Events & Festivals of 2017 in Mongolia
- 26-28 February Tsagaan Sar: The Mongolian Lunar New Year, commonly known as Tsagaan Sar is the first day of the year according to the Mongolian lunar calendar.
- 3-4 March, Khovsgol Ice Festival 2017 at the Khovsgol lake: Ice Festival on the frozen Khovsgol lake including ice sculpting, ice sumo, ice ankle bone shooting and horse sled races
- 5 March, Eagle Festival in Ulaanbaatar: About 20 eagle hunters participate in this festival including eagle hunting demonstrations and traditional Kazakh horse games
- 7-8 March Thousand Camel Festival 2017 in South Gobi: Festival to help protect the Bactrian camel including camel races, camel polo competitions and traditional performances of Mongolian music and dance
- 16-18 June, Mongolia Action Asia 3 Day Ultra Marathon south of Ulaanbaatar: Running in the Steppes on the edge of Siberia for a true nomadic experience.
- 11-15 July, Naadam Holiday: The festival is also locally termed as "the three games of men".
- 15 July, Altai Nomad’s Festival near Sagsai, Bayan-Olgii: Festival with traditional nomadic games are based on horseback like “BushKushi” (try to take the goat skin from each other), “Kiss woman on horseback”, “Pick up coins from the land on horseback”, horse races and others. You will be with many local nomads dressed in their traditional clothing. In the evening we enjoy there’s a Kazakh concert with some traditional songs and music.
- 29 July Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100/42 trail run.
- 25 August, Gobi Naadam Festival in South Gobi.
- 16-17 September, Altai Kazakh Eagle Festival near Sagsai, Bayan-Olgii: Small eagle festival features about 40 eagle hunters and their eagles.
- 30 September - 1 October, Golden Eagle Festival near Bayan-Olgii: The biggest eagle festival of Mongolia with about 70-80 participating eagle hunters.
- 29 October Capital City Day:
- 26 November Republic's Day:
Tsagaan Sar (Lunar New Year)
For more than 2.000 years Mongols have been celebrating Tsagaan Sar, literally the White month, to mark the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. Tsagaan Sar is lunar new year celebration and the biggest holiday for the families. Also people greet each other by saying "Amar mend uu?" or "Amar bainuu?" a very formal greeting which one says to one's elders. Mongolians also visit friends and family on this day and exchange gifts. A typical Mongolian family will meet in the home dwelling of the eldest in the family. Many people will be dressed in full garment of national Mongolian costumes. When greeting their elders during the White Moon festival, Mongolians grasp them by their elbows to show support for them. The eldest receives greetings from each member of the family except for his/her spouse. During the greeting ceremony, family members hold long pieces of colored cloth called khadag. After the ceremony, the extended family eats rice with curds, dairy products and buuz(dumpling) and drinks airag (mare’s fermented milk). Tsagaan Sar is a lavish feast, requiring preparation days in advance, as the women make large quantities of buuz and freeze them to save for the holiday.During Mongolia's Communist period, the government banned Tsagaan Sar and tried to replace it with a holiday called "Collective Herder's Day", but the holiday was practiced again after Mongolia's transition to democracy in 1990.
Altai Eagle Festival
Every year during the first weekend of October, “The Golden Eagle Festival” is celebrated in Bayan-Ulgii Province, in the far west of Mongolia. In western Mongolia, deep within the Altai mountain range, an ancient tradition of hunting with Golden Eagles is still alive. The Kazakhs of Mongolia train their eagles to hunt for rabbits and foxes. Once a year, hunters from all over Bayan-Olgii province gather to celebrate this traditional skill and compete against each other challenges that show off the abilities of both birds and their trainers. Prizes are awarded for the fastest eagle, the best traditional Kazakh dress, and more. Various folklore performances are given during the festival.
For many centuries, the two humped Bactrian camel has been an essential source of survival for nomads living in the Mongolian Gobi. Beginning over a decade ago, each year the Camel festival is held in Bulgan County to celebrate this unique animal and their connection with the Mongol herders who depend on them. There are many events organized such as camel polo and camel racing. There is also a sort of "Camel Fashion Show" in which locals dressed in fine traditional clothing proudly parade while riding their camels. The festival also includes displays of camel products and musical performances.
One of Mongolia's largest and most scenic lakes, Lake Khuvsgul is located in northern Mongolia at the far southern edge of the Siberian forest near the border with Russia. Aged over two million years, this ancient lake is 260 metres deep, 130 kilometres long and holds 70 per cent of Mongolia's fresh water. Ice festival organized yearly on frozen Khuvsgul Lake. Each February, residents of the Khuvsgul Lake area gather for the festival, which is organized by the Governor's Office of Khuvsgul, the Office of Khatgal, and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Besides Mongolians, foreign tourists also travel to see and enjoy the festival. The event involves ice-skating and horse sleigh races, displays of ice sculptures, shaman ceremonies and visits by reindeer herders who make their way south to the festival from their northern camps.