Visiting the Lake Baikal in winter period you will not only acquaint with numerous places of interest and see beautiful ice sculptures at the main pier of Listvianka settlement but also will have chance to take part in traditional Russian winter activities: rapid descent from snow or ice hill with the skins, dog sledding, troika riding, walk with stilts. Cross country skiing and snowmobiling is also possible. Merry Shrovetide festive gathering with ritual burning of the Maslenitsa (big straw doll symbolizing winter and death) is traditionally arranged at the Taltsy Open Air Museum of Wooden Architecture and Ethnography. At frosty winter period traditional Russian hot snack – pancakes with caviar and fragrant hot tea is especially good. You have chance to take part in traditional Russian tea party with original samovar (traditional Russian tea-urn) and to taste local delight – Baikal omul caviar.
Every year by the middle of February to the beginning of March traditional Baikal Winter Festival (Zimniada) is held. The main events of the festival are:
Mongolian Lunar New Year (Tsagaan Sar) celebrated in Ulan-Ude in February. Many Ulan-Ude citizens and tourists watch with interest funny events of fairy summit when folklore Sagaan Ubgen (The elder White, local Santa Claus) welcomes his guests (his folklore “colleagues” from other regions of Russia and also from different parts of the world).
Baikal Ice. ATV-expedition Irkutsk-Severobaikalsk from the South extremity of the Lake Baikal to the North one (1200 km by ice of the Lake Baikal!).
Baikal Ice Festival of Winter Activities is held at the Maloye More (the Small Sea) strait area. Programme includes: skating, skiing, ice climbing, biking, Nordic walking. Competitions for short distances for beginners and children are arranged.
Baikal Race. Dog sledding race Irkutsk-Lisvianka by about 500-km circular itinerary through territory of the Pribaikalsky National Park, the Baikal Nature Reserve and ice of the Lake Baikal.
Baikal Ice Marathon. Traditional every year Marathon (42 km) and Semi-Marathon (21 km) by the Lake Baikal ice from the Baikal West coast (Listrvianka) to its East coast.
The 105th Meridian Journey. The transition on foot, by skates or by bicycle from Listvianka settlement by the shortest route to the meridian of 105 degrees of East longitude and return back to the village Listvyanka (17 km one way by the Lake Baikal ice).
Baikal Bike Trophy. 85-km ice cycling race Listvianka-Tankhoi-Listvianka between opposite coasts of the Lake Baikal.
Baikal Ice Golf. Programme of festival includes 3-day ice golf training at different picturesque places of the Lake Baikal and participation at Baikal Ice Golf Tournament. Golf events are combined with ethnic, excursion and gastronomic programme.