Naadam 2017 events

Naadam festival, (11-13 July 2017), 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 "eriin gurvan naadam" (эрийн гурван наадам), 
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 Naadam 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 
located west of Ulaanbaatar on the main road leading to Lun see map

Thanks to my best friend OTGOO for assisting in collecting all this info every year since 2008.

Tickets for tourists
Tickets for opening and closing ceremonies will become available only during July 6-8 2017.
For the opening ceremony on July 11th tickets for tourists will 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 2017 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 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

Art exhibit
11-12 July outside the stadium 10:00-20:00 Mongolian art exhibit.

Free bus shuttle during Naadam competitons
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
Dunjingarav  Дүнжингарав

Train schedule July 10-14 2017

Schedule from the central UB train station
to the horse race: 7:20, 10:55, 14:04, 17:15
from the horse race fields
back to UB: 8:25, 12:10, 15:13, 19:00

10-14 July 2017 train schedule with all the in between stations

Horse racing
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.

5-6 August post Naadam regional horse race festival, at the horse race fields.

Countryside Naadam

What to expect

Each aimag (province) will celebrate a 2 day local Naadam festival during July  2017.
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.

Yak, eagle and camel countryside festivals 2017
20 July Yak festival at Alag Erdene sum in Khovsgol aimag
18 July Yak festival at Tariat and Khorgo in Arkhangai aimag
23 July Yak festival at Bat-Ulzii sum in Ovorkhangai aimag
23-25 July Zavkhan Nomad Culture festival
5-6 August Yak festival at Galuut sum in Bayankhongor aimag.
13-14 August Large yak festival (5000 yaks) at Erdenetsogt sum in Bayankhongor aimag.
31 Sept - 1 Oct Eagle festival at Bugat sum in Bayan-Ulgii aimag
13-14 October Camel festival at Bayanlig sum in Bayankhongor aimag.

Arts and crafts festivals 2017
22 July Hand craft festival at Khujirit sum in Ovorkhangai aimag
17 July Traditional arts and crafts festival at Batshireet in Khenti  aimag
5 September Airag festival (fermented horse milk) Saikhan-Ovoo sum in Dund-Govi aimag
4-6 August folk arts festival at Turgen sum in Uvs aimag 

Monastery and mountain worship events 2017
26-29 July Delgerin monastery at Delgertsogt sum in Dund-Govi aimag
20-25 July Khan Khuhii mountain ceremony at Undurkhan soum in Uvs aimag
5 August Worship ceremony at Sergelen sum in Tuv aimag

Mini Naadam of indigenous peoples of Mongolia
25-27 June Buryat people festival “Minii Toonot Nutag” in Bayndun soum of Dornod aimag.
7-8 July Tsatan people Naadam (reindeer herders) at Khatgal in Khovsgol aimag.
29-30 July Uzemchin people at Bayantumen sum in Dornod aimag
5-6 August regional Naadam in Ulaanbaatar

Countryside Naadam 2017 for each province (aimag) updated on July 5th
All events take place in the capital town of the province.
Events scheduled for July 7th might change dates, 
due to second round of presidential elections scheduled for July 7th 2017
These dates are updated from time to time, dates may change. Check with locals before going.

For better communication, and useful when asking directions - 
copy from the table below the Mongolian names of the Aimag (province) and capital city you are heading to. 


July 9-11


Bayan Olgiy.gifBayan-Ölgii
July 11-12


July 21-22


July 11-12


Mn coa of darkhan aymag.svgDarkhan-Uul
July 9-11


July 10-11


July 28-29


July 28-29
Regional naadam


July 10-11


July 9-10


July 10-11

Batshireet sum folk arts and dance
July 17
Gal-Shar sum horse race
21-22 July

July 10-12


Mn coa khuvsgul aymag.pngKhövsgöl
July 10-11

Tsaatan festival
(reign deer people)
at Khatgal sum
on khovsgol lake
July 8

July 17-18


Mn coa erdenet.pngOrkhon
July 9-11


July 28-30
regional naadam

Kharkhorin sum July 8-9

Was in June 29


Mn coa sukhbaatar aymag.pngSükhbaatar
July 28-29


July 13-15


July 10-11

July 10-11


Mn coa ulaanbaatar.pngUlaanbaatar

* Population index (size of province by number of inhabitants)
Small:         up to 10,000  inhabitants 
Medium:     10,000 -   50,000 inhabitants 
Large:         50,000 - 100,000 inhabitants  

Same list sorted by date
All events take place in the capital town of the province
Date       Province                      / Capital of province
July 9-10 Govisümber (Говьсүмбэр) / Choir (Чойр)
July 9-11 Arkhangai (Архангай) / Tsetserleg (Цэцэрлэг)
July 9-11 Darkhan-Uul  (Дархан-Уул) / Darkhan (Дархан)
July 9-11 Orkhon (Орхон) / Erdenet (Эрдэнэт)
July 10-11 Dornod (Дорнод) / Choibalsan (Чойбалсан)
July 10-11 Govi-Altai (Говь-Алтай) / Altai (Алтай)
July 10-11 Khentii (Хэнтий) / Öndörkhaan (Өндөрхаан)
July 10-11 Khövsgöl (Хөвсгөл) / Mörön (Мөрөн)
July 10-11 Uvs (Увс) / Ulaangom (Улаангом)
July 10-11 Zavkhan (Завхан) / Uliastai (Улиастай)
July 10-12 Khovd (Ховд) / Khovd (Ховд)
July 11-12 Bayan-Ölgii  (Баян-Өлгий) /  Ölgii  (Өлгий)
July 11-12 Bulgan (Булган) / Bulgan (Булган)
July 13-15 Töv (Төв) / Zuunmod (Зуунмод)
July 17-18 Ömnögovi (Өмнөговь) / Dalanzadgad (Даланзадгад)
July 21-22 Bayankhongor  (Баянхонгор) /  Bayankhongor (Баянхонгор)
July 28-29 Dornogovi (Дорноговь) / Sainshand (Сайншанд)
July 28-29 Dundgovi (Дундговь) / Mandalgovi (Мандалговь)
July 28-29 Sükhbaatar (Сүхбаатар) /  Baruun-Urt (Баруун-Урт)
July 28-30 Övörkhangai (Өвөрхангай) / Arvaikheer (Арвайхээр)


The Naadam celebrations in the year of 2017 commemorate the various anniversaries of the Mongolian state through history.

Celebrating the 2226th  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 811th 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 104th 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 96th 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 27th 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. 

Maps showing past years dates of provinces celebrations 2013, 2014, 2015 2016


Gime said...

Hello! Thanks a lot for this great information about Nadaam. I'm very interested to assist to this festival in the countryside because I'll enter Mongolia after July 11th. I read that Dadal town, in Khentti aimag, was a good option. However according to the map you show there are not dates for this city. Which other places do you recommend (besides Ulanbataar and Khatgal) to enjoy Nadaam? Do you know what happened to Dadal festival? Thanks!

Anonymous said...


I would recommend 3 late Naadam's
1. At Dundgovi 29-30 July. The advantage is that it is on the way to the Gobi.
2. Batshireet sum (district) 17 July. A small folk arts and dance festival of local ethnic groups. Take a bus to Ondorkhaan the capital of Khentii aimag (province), from there take a shared jeep to Batshireet sum up north, in a beautiful mountain region.
A similar festival used to take place in the past in Dadal.
3 Sukhbaatar 28-30 July. A regional Naadam, way out in the east, where tourists do not go.


Gime said...

Thanks a lot for your help Dan!!