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.
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.
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:
- Siberia & Mongolia: Spirits & Nomads – a small group cultural tour where you can experience an intimate local Naadam Festival outside of Ulaanbaatar
- Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival – an in-depth adventurous small group tour that surveys much of Mongolia, from the capital to Kara Korum, Lake Hovsgol and into the Gobi Desert
- Mongolia to Moscow: A Trans-Siberian Railway Adventure – a small group tour in July aboard a regularly scheduled train
- The Trans-Siberian Mongolian Route with Naadam Festival (Eastbound / Westbound) – a luxury rail journey by private train between Ulaanbaatar and Moscow that includes three nights in Ulaanbaatar for the festival