Naadam festival, (11-13 July 2016), is the happiest time in Mongolia. (national holiday July 11-15)
It is also the peak of the tourist season.
In Mongolian Naadam is known as
meaning - the 3 games of men. The 3 games are horse racing, archery and Mongolian wrestling.
This year, a large number of wrestlers (1024 in all ) will compete.
Some call it the Nomadic Olympic Games.
These games have existed for centuries and incorporate warrior skills.
The festival is performed throughout the country.
The central ceremonies and competitions are held in Ulaanbaatar.
All national events will take place in the city (Ulan Bator), except for the horse racing,
which will take place in the Khui Doloon Khudag horse racing fields
west of Ulaanbaatar on the main road leading to Lun see map
Tickets for tourists
For the opening ceremony July 11th tickets for tourists cost 25USD
Tour operators and hotels can purchase ahead of time for their customers.
Tickets for the stadium 11-12 July events cost 16,000MNT to 24,000MNT depending on location.
Tickets will be sold from July 6th, only 4 tickets per person will be sold.
Lines to the box office are long. Beware of pickpockets, stand in line with empty pockets.
Tickets can be purchased at the “Bukhiin Urguu” and “Soyoliin Tuv Urguu” ticket offices.
Cost of tickets (color coded) for the 11-12 July 2016 events at the stadium.
Events at the Ginggis Khaan square in town center
July 10th 10:00am 12:30 flags and statue honor
July 10th 16:00 traditional Mongolian dress show
July 10th 23:00 Fire works
July 11th 21:00 Mongolian Kharanga rock band concert
July 12th 21:00 Mongolian dance performance
July 13th 21:00 Mongolian traditional "Morin Khuur" music (read and listen - Morin Khuur)
July 14th 21:00 Jazz concert
Events at the stadium and nearby archery fields and ankle bone tent
July 7 9:00 - 19:00 Uriankhai style archery
July 8 9:00 - 18:00 Buryat style archery
July 9 9:00 - 19:00 Children's archery
July 10 8:00 - first rounds of archery, and ankle bone
July 11th Opening ceremony and games
10:00 opening parades, at 11:10 President blessings, 11:30 competitions begin.
July 12th Games and closing ceremony
8:00 archery wrestling ankle bone
17:25 and at 19:40 president honors winners
20:00 closing ceremony
11-12 July outside the stadium 10:00-20:00 Mongolian art exhibit.
Free bus shuttle
Free bus rides to the stadium and to the horse race fields
will run during Naadam events from the following parking lots:
Misheel EXPO Мишээл EXPO
Horse racing takes place at the horse racing fields - see Google map of racing location
The racing field is named "khui Doloon Khudag" (Mongolian: Хүй долоон худаг)
Racing during 10-11-12-13 July, each day from 07:00am to late afternoon.
July 11, 11:50-15:20 horse performance showing rider skills.
July 11th 14:00 Official horse race opening ceremonies
What to expectEach aimag (province) will celebrate a 2 day local Naadam festival during July 15-25 2016.
These local events are aimed for the local communities, and are free of charge.
Each aimag decides what dates. The dates are published during the first week of July.
Tourists are welcome to join, but there are limited facilities for tourists.
Almost no English is spoken, there are no road signs directing you to the exact location of the Naadam celebration fields, your driver will have to ask around.
The events take place in open fields within a short drive from the Aimag (province) capital city.
In contrast to the main spectacular and somewhat touristic events in Ulaanbaatar,
the countryside events give you a much closer point of view,
you get to mingle with the locals,
and experience an authentic and traditional way of celebrating Naadam.
Naadam showcases the 3 Sports of Mongolia - wrestling, horse racing, and archery.
After the opening ceremony on the first day,
you will enjoy 2 days of wrestling, multiple horse races, and an archery event.
The Naadam horse race is 10-30 km long with dozens of local contestants.
Local foods are sold or shared by locals.
You will notice people consume large amounts of airag (fermented mare’s milk),
huushur (fried bread stuffed with meat), and aaruul (dried milk curds),
these are as important to Naadam as watching the events.
The competitions take place about 2-4 km out of the aimag capital city.
Taxis (private vehicles) to the fields cost about 2,000-4,000 MNT. Walking and hitchhiking is an option.
Horse races in some cases are away from the main event fields, and might require another taxi ride.
Special countryside eventsJuly 6-9 festival of Mongolia’s throat singing, known as “Khoomei",
in Khovd Province at the Chandmani soum (district).
July 20, Yak festival at Khatgal near lake Khovsgol
July 22-23 local Naadam at Kharkhorin sum (district)
Countryside Naadam 2016 for each province (aimag)
These dates are updated from time to time, dates may change. Check with locals before going.
copy from the table below the Mongolian names of the Aimag (province) and capital city you are heading to.
|the west region|
Small: up to 10,000 inhabitants
Medium: 10,000 - 50,000 inhabitants
Large: 50,000 - 100,000 inhabitants
The Naadam celebrations in the year of 2016 commemorate the various anniversaries of the Mongolian state through history.
Celebrating the 2225th anniversary of the Hun Empire
The establishment of the Hun state (Xiongnu, Хүн улс) by Toumen in the 3rd century BCE
marks the beginning of statehood on the territory of Mongolia.
His son Modu Shanyu conquered and unified various tribes.
At the peak of its power, the Hun confederacy stretched from Lake Baikal in the north (Russia today)
to the Great Wall of China in the south.
The Mongol Empire was founded by Genghis Khan in 1206. At the peak of its power, the Mongol empire stretched all the way to Europe.
Celebrating the 103nd anniversary of National Freedom
During the collapse of the Qing (Chinese) Dynasty in 1911, Mongolia declared independence. Bogd Gegeen was enthroned as Bogd Khaan (Great Khan, or Emperor) of Mongolia on 29 December 1911.
Celebrating the 95th anniversary of the People's Revolution
|Sukhbaatar and Choibalsan,|
After the breakdown of Soviet communist regimes in late 1989, Mongolia began its own democratic revolution in early 1990, which led to a multi-party system, a new constitution in 1992 and a transition to a market economy.
In English - a 3 minute video explaining Mongolian wrestling