Naadam is a national festival celebrated every year from 11 to 13 July across Mongolia that focuses on three traditional games: horse racing, wrestling and archery. Mongolian Naadam is inseparably connected to the nomadic civilization of the Mongols, who have long practiced pastoralism on Central Asia’s vast steppe. Oral traditions, performing arts, national cuisine, craftsmanship, and cultural forms such as long song, Khöömei overtone singing, Bie biyelgee dance and Morin khuur fiddle also feature prominently during Naadam. Mongolians follow special rituals and practices during the festival, such as wearing unique costumes and using distinctive tools and sporting items. Festival participants revere the sportsmen, sportswomen, and children who compete, and winners are rewarded titles for their achievements. Ritual praise songs and poems are dedicated to the contestants in the events. Everyone is allowed and encouraged to participate in Naadam, thus nurturing community involvement and togetherness. The three types of sports are directly linked with the lifestyles and living conditions of the Mongols and their transmission is traditionally undertaken through home-schooling by family members, although formalized training regimens have recently developed for wrestling and archery. The rituals and customs of Naadam also accentuate respect for nature and the environment.
The opening ceremony features marches and music from soldiers, monks and athletes before the real fun begins! In the Naadam Stadium, the three sporting passions of Mongolians, horse racing, wrestling and archery, are played out over 2 days.
Nomadic Mongolians have known when to throw the parties. Naadam Festival is held in the most enjoyable month of the most pleasant season in the country. Therefore, everyone takes the opportunity and enjoys the Festival in diverse schedule such as traveling to the countryside, camping out and gathering in their closest herds.
Come travel to Mongolia with us to experience Naadam Festival.