Several of the areas we offer trips to have festivals once or more every year. These can be incredibly colourful events, with large amounts of traditional dress, traditional sports, and a great atmosphere when friends and family who have not seen each other all year get together.

Reindeer racing at the August 9th festival on the Yamal Peninsula, Arctic Siberia

Reindeer racing at the August 9th festival on the Yamal Peninsula, Arctic Siberia

We offer trips to 4 different festivals:

1. Day of the Reindeer Herder. This takes place on different dates in every town and village in the region. The most interesting ones are in Yar Sale, Panaevsk, and Aksarka villages. Almost all the nomads from the surrounding region gather and partake in traditional sports such as reindeer racing, Nenets wrestling, Nenets tug of war, lassoing contest, sledge jumping and more. A visit to this festival can easily be included in our winter Yamal Peninsula trips.

2. August 9th festival on the Yamal Peninsula. Many nomad groups also have a summer festival on August 9th. In winter they are camped very near settlements, so the festival always takes in or next to a village or town, and plenty of non-nomads are present. However, the August 9th festival takes place at nomad camps in the tundra, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest settlement. They also have reindeer racing, wrestling, and the other traditional sports. This can be included in our summer Yamal Peninsula trips.

3. March 8th festival on the Yamal Peninsula. Just before the beginning of the northward spring migration, some groups of Nenets nomads who are camped nearby meet up and have a festival in the woods. They have a huge feast, practice traditional sports and leave reindeer skulls and antlers in trees as offerings to bring luck on the migration. This can be included in our winter Yamal Peninsula trips.

4. Ysyakh festival in Yakutia. This festival is held in every community across this vast republic to celebrate the beginning of summer and the rebirth of nature after the long winter. At the main festival near Yakutsk town, visitors are measured in the tens or hundreds of thousands. There are traditional sports, dancing, food and a great two-day party.