The Naadam Festival is the major holiday in Mongolia and a wonderful time to experience the culture, people, history and stunning landscapes of this amazing land. The major events are held in the capital, Ulaanbataar, but the festival is celebrated throughout Mongolia.
In Ulaanbataar, the opening ceremony features a parade of soldiers, monks and athletes before all the action begins! The festival celebrates the three sporting passions of Mongolians: wrestling, horse racing and archery.
Wrestlers wear traditional zodog (vest) and shuudag (trousers) and engage in a test of strength that includes lots of clever tricks to trounce their opponents. Both men and women join in on the archery events to see whose arrows fly the furthest. Mongolians are superb horse trainers and riders, so the horse racing events are incredible to watch as both boys and girls aged from five to 12 display amazing feats of horsemanship.
The whole event has a vibrant, party atmosphere and apart from sports there's lots to see and do, including folkloric performances and concerts. Many adventure tour operators now offer tours to Mongolia, including the Naadam Festival in their itineraries. Many of these tours incorporate camel or horse riding safaris, overnight stays in a traditional nomadic ger (yurt), visits to ancient temples and monasteries and the amazing landscapes of the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, Terelj National Park, Hustain Nuruu National Reserve, the Hogo Han Mountains and the Flaming Cliffs, where the first nest of dinosaur eggs ever discovered were found in 1922.
To organise travel to the event, contact a Flight Centre Travel Expert on 133 133 for assistance or use the form below.