The Naadam festival is the biggest and most joyful celebration for Mongolians.
It takes place each year on the 11-12th of July. The festival originated from the era of Khunnu Empire and was originally organized as a competition to test the skills of Mongolian Warriors between tribes. The festival comprises the "Three Manly Sports": wrestling, horse racing and archery.
The Naadam festival is the biggest yet most jubilant national celebration for Mongolians. It annually takes place between 11-13th July. Originally organized from the times of Huns/Hunnu Empire, Naadam was a kind of contest to evaluate the power and military skills of Mongol warriors. The Festival consists of three main games referred as “Three Manly Sports” such as traditional wrestling, horse racing and archery. Opening ceremony of the festival is always associated with colorful cultural show followed by the first round of wrestling tournament. In the aisles of the Central Stadium, both archery and the fourth Naadam game- ankle bone shooting will surely capture your interest. Hundreds of herders with their race horses will rush from various parts of the country to participate the biggest race. Racing will take place out in the plains with varying distances of up to 15-20miles in 6 different age categories. We kindly recommend booking in advance our Naadam Festival Tour.
- 7:30 Departure from “Mongolia Vision Tours”.
- 8:00 Breakfast provided at local restaurant.
- 9:00 Stop at Chinggis Khaan Square to view the marching of 9 White Banner of State from Parliament House to Central Stadium escorted with colorfully dressed Mongolian National Army.
- 10:00 Arrive at Central Stadium. The Festival will be officially opened by the welcoming speech of President of Mongolia. Following the opening ceremony, a grand cortege is held including the ceremonial parade of adult and children representing nomadic culture, history and ethnic people of the country eventually escorted with folk music and dance.
Further, you can pay a visit to archery competitions where participants can only rely on their sharp eye, firm hand and rich experience to release the arrow. The targets are usually a fist-sized leather balls which are placed in 60ms distance from women and 70ms for men contestants. Enjoy the game of ankle bone shooting. First round of wrestling match starts right after the opening ceremony.
- 12:30 Later on drive to Khui Doloon Khudag an area where horse races are held. It’s hard to imagine a Mongolian or a nomad without their horses. Mongolians possess a great heritage of horse culture as part of their daily living. The best winner horses across the country gather in Ulaanbaatar for the most important National race. Mongolian people have been training their horses genuinely in their nature and winning the race during State Naadam festival will definitely bring them tremendous joy and glory.
- Depending on driving hours and traffic conditions lunch will be picnic package. After witnessing horses arriving at finish line guest shall be back at the bus for short afternoon tea break.
- Drive back to Ulaanbaatar, since all the viewers of horse race will return towards the city, driving may be little longer than expected.
- Accommodation in a hotel or hostel in Ulaanbaatar
- Hotel extras, such as telephone calls, bar bills, and laundry
- Travel insurance, medical insurance
- Visa application fees
- Alcoholic beverages
This is a suggested packing list, which you should feel free to adjust to suit your needs. Please refer to our travel guide for more detailed information.
- sun hat
- sun cream
- insect repellent
- resealing (Ziploc) plastic bags
- watch/ alarm clock
- money belt/ pouch
- insurance confirmation copy
- emergency contact number