“Land of the Snow Leopard” Festival is a uniting people tradition
“Land of the Snow Leopard” is an environmental festivalbased on creative contest dedicated to the rare species conservation. This year the 4th republican event brings together thousands of young and active people of the Altai-Sayan region.
The main hero and symbol of this day is a mysterious and wonderful mountain inhabitant – the snow leopard. Local people call him Irbis. There are two stages of this festival: municipal (in spring) and republican (in fall). Municipal events are held mostly in may when guys are competing for right to present their native village in the September Republican festival.
«The idea of this festival was born by itself. In 2009 organized the first «Day of the Snow Leopard» in the village of Kosh-Agach and in the 2010th initiative was taken up by other Altai villages and the Republic of Tyva, - says Elena Repetunova, project coordinator in WWF-Russia’s ASER Department. – So a small event in one village turned into a republican movement. The number of participants of this movement is growing year by year. But the most important thing is that this event gave an opportunity to children to communicate with their friends from different villages of the Altai Republic.
The main idea of the Festival is attracting attention of the younger generation to the environmental problems of the Altai Republic, including conservation of the snow leopard and other rare animals and plants, as well as the development of creative abilities of schoolchildren.
Festive events were held on September 20th in the Gorno-Altaisk Culture House. There were more than 200 people including guests from neighboring regions (Tomskaya Oblast, Altaiskyi kray), as well as colleagues from Mongolia who -had started a similar tradition in their country last year. The guests visited an exhibition with the laureates’ crafts of the competition part of the festival. There were different pictures, souvenirs, brochures and flyers made by participants with the Snow Leopard Conservation ideas. Anyone who wished had a possibility to take part in various workshops. One of the most popular was The Felt master-class where an Altai master shared secrets of her mesmerizing skill.
The culmination of the festival was a concert where children from different regions of the Republic presented their best dances and songs selected by Jury on the results of the municipal stage.
This year the jury members have laid a new tradition to give the award of “The Best Municipal Festival of the year” to one of the different villages. This year's the Cup has gone to Ulaganskyi region of the Altai Republic for the most colourful and large-scale municipal festival.
«We believe that “Land of The Snow Leopard” Festival has a great future! », – agreed participants, guests and organizers of this very important for the Altai Republic event.