Best time to visit Mongolia
Mongolia has an extreme continental climate; it is so far inland that no sea moderates its climate. With over 260 sunny days a year, Mongolia is justifiably known as the “Land of the Blue Sky”. The main travel season is from May to early October. Mongolians, especially nomads, consider March and April the worst months. After the long winter, livestock will already be thin and a lack of rain means many will die, causing financial and psychological hardship.
June to September are very pleasant times to visit. Early July gives you the best weather for the northern part of the country. Also, July is the time to see the Naadam Festival and this is the peak tourist season. Ulaanbaatar is possibly the coldest capital city in the world.
The Best of Months:
February: Tsagaan sar, Lunar New Year
Tsagaan Sar is a family festival, which is one of the biggest holiday not only in Mongolia, even in Asia. Tsagaan sar is celebrated on the first day of the Lunar new year to put some cheer in the endless winter months and mark the beginning of spring. This could be any date from late January to late February depending on lunar calendar. Also people greet each other with holiday-specific greetings such as Amar baina uu?, meaning "Are you living peacefully?" Mongols also visit friends and family on this day and exchange gifts. A typical Mongol family will meet in the home dwelling of the eldest in the family. The celebration happens over several days, with feasting on the night of the new moon. Many people will be dressed in full garment of Mongolian national costumes. When greeting their elders during the White Moon festival, Mongols perform the ZOLGOKH greeting, grasping them by their elbows to show support for them. The day before Tsagaan Sar is called Bituun, the name of the lunar phase of a new or dark moon. The lunar phases are Bituun (dark moon), Shined (new crescent moon), Tergel (full moon), and Huuchid (waxing moon). On the Bituun day, people thoroughly clean around home, herders also clean the livestock barns and shades, to meet the New Year fresh.
March: "Nomads winter " festivals:
The residents of the Khuvsgul Lake area gather for the festival, which is organized by the Governor's Office of Khuvsgul, the Office of Khatgal, and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Mongolia. Besides Mongolians, foreign tourists also travel to see and enjoy the festival. The event involves international skating marathon and horse sleigh races, displays of ice sculptures, shaman ceremonies and visits by reindeer herders who make their way south to the festival from their northern taiga. Many traditional games are played on the sidelines, and this is an ideal venue for visitors to join in the fun and games with local people.
"Thousand Camel Festival," organized by a local non-governmental organization working to protect and preserve the Bactrian camel population. Highlights of the festival include camel races, performances by traditional Mongolian musicians and dancers, and visits to significant paleontological and cultural sites of the Gobi. Attend the camel races at the Thousand Camel Festival, a unique opportunity to witness the speed and agility of Bactrian camels. Enjoy performances by traditional Mongolian musicians and dancers, and visits to significant paleontological and cultural sites in the Gobi. The festival is held annually 7th and 8thMarch
July: Naadam Festival:
Naadam is the most widely watched festival among Mongols, and is believed to have existed for centuries in one fashion or another. Naadam festival is lifetime experience of the colorful summer festival events and the biggest festival of the year for Mongolians. It is held all over the country and the main competitive events of wrestling, archery, horse racing and ankle bone shooting are held in Ulaanbaatar between 11-13 July, annually. It is the best time to experience of nomadic people.
August: "Danshig" Ulaanbaatar city festival :
Similar to the National Naadam Festival, The Danshig Naadam festival occurs 6th and 7th August annually. This festival is held in Ulaanbaatar, and while it will still hold archery, horse racing and wrestling competitions, it differs from the earlier Naadam festival with its focus on the history and practice of Bud-dhism in Mongolia. After the People’s Revolution of 1921, the religious elements of this festival were removed and the name was changed from Danshig Naadam to simply ‘Naadam’. The revival of the Danshig Naadam for the first time in 93 years by the administration of Ulaanbaatar city and the Gandantegchinlen Monastery of Mongolia under the auspices of the “Historic, Harmonious and Hospitable” initiative has reintroduced the religious importance of the event by including several performances and events highlighting Buddhism’s influence on the people and culture of Mongolia. In addition to the horse racing, archery and wrestling competitions, Danshig Naadam celebrates ancient Buddhist traditions such as Tsam Dancing.
September: Nomads Day festival:
The festival starts on 17th September – the most blessed day of the Mongolian nomads, in Gun Galuut nature Reserve. This is one of the most exciting cultural festivals of Mongolia and is the only even revives the heritage. Therefore, this event was approved by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Mongolia as an official tourism even and hold annually. During the festival, local nomadic groups proudly demonstrate the major 10 customs of nomadic lifestyle to the visitors as a competition. Moreover, visitors compete in groups and do different nomadic customs like disassembling a ger in the shortest time, making milky tea and many more.
October: Golden Eagle festival:
Kazakhs have a tradition of hunting on horseback with trained steppe eagles. A well- trained eagle flies back to his masters saddle when other horses approach. The festival is held in early October the Eagle Hunting Festival, a colorful and picturesque event attracting the best hunters and birds, and an important celebration for the local community. The festival begins with eagle hunters parade and each hunter displaying the hunting outfits and elaborate, beautifully adorned accessories. Later, the hunting eagles are evaluated for their skills. This event represents the very essence of the culture of nomadic Kazakhs and if you like to have once-in-life experience.