At the Crossroads of Europe & Asia

Mongolia’s Naadam Festival: Why Go?

Mongolia is about open space, with its boundless grassy steppe and great red Gobi Desert; about a place in history, with Genghis Khan and his mounted warriors leaving their mark on two continents; and about the culture of the nomad, who created a coherent and organic life revolving around four-legged creatures. It is said that in Mongolia livestock outnumber people thirteen to one.

Horse racing at a local Naadam Festival. Photo credit: Helge Pedersen
Horse racing at a local Naadam Festival. Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Festival Time in Mongolia


The annual Naadam Festival is the country’s favorite festival, showcasing Mongolia’s best in wrestling, horse racing, and archery as well as uniquely Mongolian sports such as “ankle-bone shooting.” It originated many centuries ago, but in the 20th century this celebration of the nomad’s courage, strength, dexterity and marksmanship now commemorates July 11th, the anniversary of Mongolia’s independence from China.

Opening Ceremony of Naadam. Photo credit: Helge Pedersen
Opening Ceremony of Naadam. Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Travelers to Ulaanbaatar join local people to cheer on the horses with their school-age riders, admire the stately wrestlers in their eagle costumes, and marvel at the long archery bows based on the same design that Genghis’ warriors used.

(click image to view larger photo)

Travel to the Naadam Festival with MIR

Learn more about MIR tours that travel to Mongolia, where you can experience the Naadam Festival for yourself. You can also book a custom private journey. 

MIR offers several trips that coincide with Naadam:

PUBLISHED: April 30, 2020


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