2013 Naadam events Ulaanbaatar and countryside

Mongolia - Naadam 2013 - Program

Naadam festival, (11-13 July 2013), is the happiest time in Mongolia. It is also the peak of the tourist season. In Mongolian Naadam is known as "eriin gurvan naadam" (эрийн гурван наадам), meaning - the 3 games of men. The 3 games are horse racing, archery and Mongolian wrestling. Some call it the Nomadic Olympic Games. These games have existed for centuries and incorporate warrior skills.

Video - news item in English describing the Mongolian Naadam wrestling. 

The festival is performed throughout the country. The central ceremonies and competitions are held in Ulaanbaatar.
This year (2013) in UB there will be 512 wrestlers competing in 10 rounds, 420  of them hold a state title. Horses in six age categories will be dashing across the Khui Doloon Khudag horse racing fields.

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)


Tourists can buy tickets for the opening ceremony through the metropolitan tourism department or from hotels and tour operators.

You can also go yourself to the box office at the central cultural palace or at the box office of the wrestling palace. Expect long lines.

Seats cost 16,000MNT, 20,000MNT. 24,000MNT depending on seat location.
Tourists are expected to purchase tickets for 25USD for designated seats in the shaded part of the stadium. 

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
Narantuul  Нарантуул
Dunjingarav  Дүнжингарав

National Ceremonies and Wrestling Tournaments at the Central Stadium

Thursday July 11th - Central Stadium

Ceremony of dispatching the “Nine White Banners” 
from the state palace to the stadium.
Ceremony of hoisting the “Nine White Banners”
Opening speech of the  President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj for the National  Naadam Festival,
Opening ceremony of the 2013 National Naadam Festival       
1st Round of the wrestling tournament                      
1st Round of the children’s wrestling tournament
2nd Round of the wrestling tournament                      
2nd Round of the children’s wrestling tournament
State organized reception ceremony

Friday July 12th - Central Stadium

3rd Round of the wrestling tournament
4th Round of the wrestling tournament
4th Round of the children’s wrestling tournament
5th Round of the wrestling tournament
Prizes to the winners of the State archery and knucklebone shooting tournaments
6th Round of the wrestling tournament
5th Round of the children’s wrestling tournament
Prizes  to the winners of the horse racing tournament
6th Round of the children’s wrestling tournament
7th Round of the wrestling tournament  
Medals to wrestlers titled  “Nachin” and “Khartsaga”
8th Round of the wrestling tournament   
7th Round of the children’s wrestling tournament
Medals to wrestlers qualified for the title of  “Zaan”
9th Round of the wrestling tournament    
Medals for the winners of the wrestling tournament  
Closing speech by the President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj
Closing ceremony of the 2013 National Naadam Festival,  
“the “Nine White Banners” will be returned  to the State Palace


Knuckle-bone tournament  

 at the "Shagain Asar"  shooting field               

 Wednesday July 10th - knuckle-bone shooting fields
Quarterfinals of the territorial knuckle-bone

Thursday July 11th knuckle-bone shooting fields
Semifinals of the territorial knuckle-bone tournament       
Opening ceremony of the State knuckle-bone tournament
Quarterfinals of the State knuckle-bone  tournament  

Friday July 12th knuckle-bone shooting fields
The finals of the knuckle-bone shooting tournaments
Prize awarding to winners of the knuckle-bone tournament    

Archery tournament 

at the archery fields (near the stadium)

Sunday, July 7th
Uriankhai style archery tournament                   

Monday, July 8th
Buriad (Buryat) style archery tournament         

Tuesday, July 9th
Children’s archery tournament                           

Wednesday, July 10th
Opening ceremony of the State Archery Tournament          

Thursday, July 11th
Presentation ceremony of National archery                       
First Round of the children’s wrestling tournament
National archery tournament                                             

Friday, July 12th  
The Finals of the state archery tournament

Horse races
at the Khui Doloon Khudag horse race fields

Sunday, July 9th
Khyazaalan (four-year old) horse racing                               
“Shudlen” (three-year old) horse racing                       

Thursday, July 10th
Stallion horse racing                                                  
Opening ceremony of the Khui Doloon Khudag Naadam
Ikh Nas (horses over 5-year old) horse racing     

Friday, July 12th
“Soyolon” (five-year old) horse racing                         
“Daaga” (Colt or two-year old) horse racing              

Performances at the horse race fields - Khui Doloon Khudag

Thursday, July 11

Equestrian show, horse riding parade and horse circus show

 Thursday and Friday, July 11-12

Air balloon take-off
Friday, July 12

Equestrian show, horse riding parade and horse circus show
Parachute landing show

Satureday July 13

Equestrian  show, horse riding parade and horse circus show

Other Naadam events in Ulaanbaatar

Public events at the Sukhbaatar  square
Wednesday, July 10th
National Flag raising ceremony                                  
Ceremony dedicated to the Inauguration Ceremony of the President of  Mongolia and National Flag Day 
Ceremony of showing respect to the Statue of Chinggis Khan and Wreath laying ceremony to the Statue of D.Sukhbaatar

Thursday, July 11th
Ceremony of dispatching the “Yesun Khult Tsagaan Tug” or the “Nine White Banners”
“The Ulaanbaatar Evening” show                               
“The Awakening of the Great Nation” multimedia show

State events
Wednesday,  July 10th
State honoured concert at the Central Cultural Palace
Ceremony of the “Nine White Banners”
At the state palace

Naadam party 
Friday July 12 19:00 at the national amusement park

 "Mongolia in Deel" mini Naadam festival

Postponed from July 13 to July 20
July 20, 2013 "Mongolia in Deel" mini Naadam festival, at the Sukhbaatar square in the center of town. The festival is known for it's colorful traditional ethnic clothing. The festival will include a parade, a ger fair, dance, music and performances. 


Thursday, July 11th  23:00 at the following locations

Sukhbaatar’s Square,


Maakhuur Tolgoi,


Countryside Naadam Events  
Naadam events will take place  in all aimags (provinces). Each aimag decides on the festival dates. These local events are aimed for the local communities, celebrated on open fields, and are free of charge.
The dates might change, so ask before heading there.

What to expect

Tourists are welcome to join, but there are limited facilities.  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.

List of countryside Naadam festivals

The events take place in open fields within a short drive from the Aimag (province) capital city.

July 6-8 
Tsaatan festival (reindeer herders) in Khovsgol aimag

July 8-10
Bayankhongor aimag in the town of  Bayankhongor / Баянхонгор

July 10-11

Dundgovi aimag  in the town of Mandalgovi / Мандал-Говь

Bulgan aimag
Govi-Altai aimag
Govi-Sumbar aimag 
Omnogovi aimag
Sukhbaatar aimag
Selenge aimag
Uvs aimag
Khovd aimag

July 11
Darkhan-Uul aimag in the town of Darkhan / Дархан
Dornod aimag
Orkhon aimag 
Khovsgol aimag in the town of Mörön / Мөрөн
Bayan-Olgii aimag - cancelled !!!
Uvurkhangai aimag (see also July 23 largest horse race) 

July 15
Mankhan sum in Khovd aimag

July 20 
Kharkhorin fast horse race.
The best horses from all over Mongolia will compete for the "best of the best" title.

July 22-24 
Sums Naadam - Galuut, Erdenesogt and Bayankhongor sums of the Bayankhongor aimag.

July 23
Uvurkhangai special event - the aimag intends to organize 1,500 horses for the largest ever horse race in order to register in the Guinness world book of records.

July 25
Sum Naadam - Mandal, Tosontsengel, and Numrug Sum's (districs) of the Zavkhan aimag (province) will celebrate Naadam at their district centers between 21-25 July.

July 26-28 
Zavkhan aimag in the town of Uliastai / Улиастай
Special event - 2222 musician will play the horse head fiddle (more on the horse head fiddle - Morin-Khuur in Mongolian) to commemorate the 2222nd anniversary of the first Mongolian statehood - the Hun empire.
Arkhangai aimag
Tov aimag
Tov special event - 90 musicians, 90 folk singers, and 90 dancers will perform
Khentii aimag in the town of Öndörkhaan / Өндөрхаан
Khentii Special event - horse race for all eastern aimags.

July 27-28
Dornogovi aimag
Special event -  a special performance of song and dance with 1080 children     celebrating the 210th birthday of Danzanravja (more on Danzanravjaa)

August 15
Mankhan sum of Khovd aimag

National Anniversaries

The Naadam celebrations in the year of 2013 commemorate the various anniversaries of the Mongolian state through history.

Celebrating the 2222nd 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.

Genghis Khan
Celebrating the 807th anniversary of the Great Mongol Empire 
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 102nd 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 92nd anniversary of the People's Revolution
Sukhbaatar and Choibalsan,
revolution leaders.
Under strong Soviet influence, the Mongolian People's Republic was declared in 1921. The revolution against the Chinese began on  March 18, 1921 when 400 volunteer troops led by Sukhbaatar attacked the 2000 Chinese garrison in Kyakhta at the northern frontier of Mongolia. The Mongolian People's Party troops and Russian Red Army troops entered Urga (Ulaanbaatar of today) in July 1921.

Celebrating 23rd year of democracy
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.

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