Day of Baikal, or why the lake needs a holiday
Since the very appearance of the new holiday on the Day of Lake Baikal, the weather is fine. Perhaps spirits of heaven and water convince the spells of local shamans, and perhaps the rains recede before the truly nationwide character of the celebration. The holiday was established in 1999, three years after the lake was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its main goal was to draw the attention of broad sections of the public to environmental problems associated with Lake Baikal.
First, Baikal Day was celebrated every year every fourth Sunday in August, but since 2008 the celebration date has been changed to the second Sunday in September. One of the reasons for the transfer was the desire to extend the tourist season on the "sacred sea". First of all, the holiday is magnificently celebrated in the regions adjoining the lake - Buryatia, Irkutsk and Chita regions. On this day, the participants of the celebration express their love to Baikal, admire its greatness.
The script of the festival is rich with folklore and theatrical performances, interesting concert programs. On the Day of Lake Baikal summarizes the results of various nature conservation and local history competitions, organizes interactive quests, master classes, quizzes, implements environmental projects and actions. At the scientific lectures and seminars, the history of Lake Baikal and its state are analyzed, and the schools conduct thematic lessons dedicated to this outstanding natural site.
Interested organizations are deploying their creative sites in the areas of Irkutsk and its parks, presenting public projects, holding exhibitions and inviting writers and poets whose work is dedicated to the lake. Within the framework of the celebration, the results of the film festival "Man and Nature" are summed up. Representatives of Russian and international public organizations, teachers engaged in environmental education and education, representatives of the administration of different levels, scientists arrive at the celebration.
Why did the idea to introduce a new holiday - Baikal Day? Yes, this lake, located near the Mongolian border, in Siberia, is called a natural diamond for its incredible beauty. But is there little beauty on the planet? Why do scientists talk about the uniqueness of the natural heritage of this reservoir?
Baikal is the deepest lake on the planet. Its waters are crystal clear and represent the largest "well" in the world: 20% of the strategic fresh water reserves on the Earth (23,000 m 3) are concentrated here in the Baikal "bowl". Moreover: 60 cubic meters of this pure life-giving moisture is annually produced by the lake. The legendary daughter of the Baikal Angara along with her "beloved" - the Yenisei - carry these waters to the World Ocean.
Transparency of Lake Baikal is comparable only to the Sargasso Sea. Even from space, you can consider the bottom relief at a depth of half a kilometer. Pure water lake owes a small crustacean epishura, a half-and-a-half-inch brother of shrimp. It is this toiler who filters water at a depth of up to half a meter, consuming algae and bacteria, saturating the lake with oxygen and being, in turn, a favorite dish of the famous Baikal omul.
The first place is occupied by a reservoir (among all continental ones) and by the richness of fauna: more than 2,500 species of animals live here, and 23 of these inhabitants are found only in Lake Baikal.
During the last 5 years, the Baikal bottom has been studied. Scientists are convinced that under the thickness of the water are deposits of archeological artifacts that can open the veil over many secrets of nature. About all this tells the exposition of the only museum in Russia dedicated to the lake. The Baikal museum has been working for 20 years right on the shore, at the sources of the Angara. Visitors are interested primarily in its interactivity: an aquarium with Baikal water, a dendropark and a bathyscaphe were visited by about a million tourists.
The usual lake lives no more than 15 000 years. Baikal is already over 25 million, and he is not going to grow old! Today, scientists believe that an outstanding natural object, pushing its coasts to 2 centimeters per year, is the embryo of the future ocean. So it is not surprising that Baikal became one of the seven wonders of Russia, which certainly has a lot to choose from.