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WHAT TO DO IN MONGOLIA. 10. TO ENJOY NAADAM FESTIVAL

Blog | published: 2019-01-07

10TH THING YOU SHOULD DO IN MONGOLIA IS TO ENJOY NAADAM

Blue Mongolia Tour agency names the one of the best things to do in Mongolia is to enjoy the Naadam festival in Mongolia.

Naadam is the 3 nomadic sports festival of steppe Mongols: Archery shooting, wrestling and horse racing. The Naadam is the worth to see and lifetime event to enjoy with it. You will feel the lovely singing of kid jockeys for their horses, the shining happiness on a face of horse owners, the power and accuracy of shooting, the colorful traditional costumes of publics. In Ulaanbaatar Naadam festival more than 500 horses compete in one round, so for you the only chance to enjoy and to see so many horses racing in an open valley. In other local areas you can see approximately 50-100 horses will run in one round and you will have really good chance to see the racing in very close distance with local emotional audiences.

At the wrestling stadium or open field you will enjoy the men’s wrestling competition and they will wrestle with all their strength, handiness and quickness. Sometimes one wrestler will lift another one up over his shoulders, one wrestler hurls another one with a sling, one small wrestler will hook a big one and pull him out at the critical moment. Then you may see that 2 equal wrestlers attempts to gain a hold before his opponent does, when they gained holds, just standing waiting opponent’s movements or planning his own game-tricks. Here you may see unexpected, joyful, ravishing or pitiful, wrong acts of wrestling and you may shout eee, uuuuuu, noooo…. or eeeeee, yeeees.. You – men will like and enjoy the wrestling a lot.

Archery is held from the ancient time, the source is from ancient army activities. Archery contestants take aim at target of fist-sized baskets. Bowman take more scores for their each success shooting and bowing in different methods are held by local people. Only in archery competition women are allowed to participate. Bone shooting is sometimes added to the venue. In this game, the participants flick sheep anklebones at a target of stacked bones.

Anklebone flicking competition origin came from 13 century and Chinggis Khan's period. In peaceful time the mongolian ancint soldires are needed to have practice not to lose the power of arms and fingers, so they initiated sheep/goat ankle bone targeting tournament to enjoy indoors in severe winter time. In Manchu Dynasty period and socialist period this game was not allowed to play among mongols. Later after 1990 this game came back to mongols' daily life and holiday entertainment. This competition consists of groups of 6+1 men trying to flick an ankle bone to a target another ankle bone about 9.70 metres away. It is very popular with the masses and cheering is encouraged. This was a great way to get our juices flowing for Naadam and lots of cheering and egging on the ankle-boners.

Behind the sport activities, you will have a Naadam lunch: Khuushuur, fried shashlik, fermented horse milk and milk tea. At the nomad ger visit, you will have more Mongolian cuisines and delicacies made of sweet, milk, flour and so on…

The Festival can not be imagines without singing and dancing. You will enjoy the different types of concerts: Naadam rock pop concert in city main square, naadam traditional concert  in local areas, naadam folklore special tourist show in somewhere, Naadam countryside song concert at the nomad families and so on…    

Narrated by tour guides of Blue Mongolia Tour.         

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