The camel festival in Mongolia’s Gobi is one of the number of festivals that are gaining popularity with both domestic and international travellers in the country. This year, The Great Desert Camel Festival will be held in its western province of Gobi-Altai on 25-26 November. The festival will feature multiple activities, including camel racing, a herders’ conference, camel polo, and a trade fair featuring camel products.
According to the National Statistical Office of Mongolia, there were over 66.46 million livestock animals in the country as of the end of 2018, of which 0.7 percent were camels. The camels in Mongolia are Bactrian camels, with two humps. There is still a population of wild Bactrian camels, their habitat is in the remotest of desert areas, in the Southwest of the country.
Gobi herders rely on them to carry heavy loads when the household moves to new pastures. In the past, caravans for cross-border trading and historically trade along the Silk Road, was made possible by using camels as transport and riding animals.
Camel wool has superior properties for clothing, always giving a warm and dry feeling. Everybody who has worn socks of camel wool knows how to appreciate this fiber. Camel wool is becoming a competitor for cashmere, and fine camel wool garments are and blankets are gaining in popularity. Camel milk is known for its medicinal qualities throughout the region. Camel milk products made by Mongolian herders include a curd and yoghurt, very creamy and rich.