The Nadaam festival is the biggest festival of the year for Mongolians-it’s one and only event, a lively National festival. It’s known as the second oldest olympics. Held every year from 11-13th of July, the festivities kick off with a colourful parade of athletes, monks, soldiers, musicians, and people dressed as ancient warriors. After that, attention turns to competitions in the country’s most popular sports: horse racing, archery, and Mongolian wrestling.
This is not only festival and holiday for Mongolians, this is a day proud of their tradition and unique way of nomadic culture. The Naadam festival in Ulaanbaatar allows its audience to admire colourful celebration and see prominent sports while the countryside festivals allow their audiences to participate and deal with locals.
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.
But if you don’t want to watch sports all the time, there’s plenty to see and do outside – food, music, crafts or just watching people and culture. This is the best time to see the Mongolian people and soak up the party atmosphere!
See the festival through my travel diary
After the festival, this is how the eagle hunters wrap their Eagles to take the birds home