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Mongolia Naadam Festival 2022

Mongolian Naadam Guards

What is the Mongolian Naadam festival?

The Naadam Festival in Mongolia is a unique celebration of nomadic culture and national independence. Dating back to the Hunnic Empire and Great Mongolia, the festival originally featured three games - horse racing, wrestling, and archery - which were documented in the 13th-century book The Secret History of the Mongols. Since Mongolia declared independence from China in 1921, Naadam has been a symbol of the country's achievements as a new state.

Today, the National Naadam is held annually in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar during the National Holiday from July 11th to 14th. The festival takes place in the Mongolian National Sports Stadium and begins with an elaborate introduction ceremony featuring dancers, athletes, horse riders, and musicians. The competition includes horse racing, wrestling, and traditional arrow bow shooting, as well as other unique games such as ankle bone shooting, traditional fast food serving, and Mongolian beverages.

The festival is held during the most pleasant season in Mongolia, and provides an opportunity for people to travel to the countryside, camp out, and gather with their closest herds. Naadam is an outstanding combination of arts and sports, showcasing the best of Mongolia's rich cultural heritage and nomadic traditions.


  • 07:00- 8:00 We will pick you from your Hotel or meet Enza Tours LLC office

  • 08:30 We will drive to Chinggis Square. There we will see the ceremony of placing The National Nine White Banner in the Central Mongolian Stadium

Mongolian naadam archer
Ancient archers

Experience the Grandeur of the Naadam Festival through an Exclusive Itinerary

Embark on a cultural journey and witness the grandeur of the Naadam festival through an exclusive itinerary. The experience begins at 10:00 AM, with a direct drive to the Central Stadium to witness the opening ceremony of the festival. This ceremony, officially opened by the President of Mongolia, features a vast procession of hundreds of adults and children dressed in costumes representing ethnic groups. The stadium is engulfed in a spectacular display of traditional Mongolian folk music, dancing and theatrical performance, providing an immersive experience of Mongolian culture.

One of the highlights of the Naadam festival is the archery competition, where you will witness skilled archers test their precision and accuracy. Historically, bows and arrows were used for hunting, but eventually evolved into weapons during battles. Mongolians have been practicing archery since the 11th century, and it has since developed into a sport. In this competition, archers aim at first-sized baskets from a distance of 75 meters for men and 60 meters for women. The average-sized bow, requiring a force of 22 to 38kg to pull, is predominantly used by Mongolians today. Arrows are usually made of pine wood and can travel a distance of approximately 900 meters.

Join us on this exclusive itinerary to discover the traditional Mongolian bow shooting competition and experience the vibrant culture of Naadam festival.

Mongolian wrestlers
Mongolian wrestler

Let us explore the Mongolian Wrestling Competition

Following the opening ceremony, the first round of the wrestling competition will commence, with the champion being crowned in the evening after ten rounds of intense competition. The roots of Mongolian wrestling can be traced back to the Bronze Age, as depicted in ancient rock carvings discovered in the Ulziit soum of Dundgobi province. Mongolian wrestling has been an integral part of the country's culture for over 7000 years and is unique due to the vast open area and nomadic lifestyle of its people.

Mongolian wrestling has evolved over time, with three main streams of wrestling: Mongolian bull wrestling, Khalkh wrestling, and Inner Mongolian wrestling. These streams share similarities in terms of wrestlers' costumes, wrestling dances, rituals of judges and attendants, and the wrestling field. However, they differ in the rules of winning and losing. For instance, touching ahead, knees, or elbows results in losing in Khalkh wrestling, whereas reaching back is considered a loss in Mongolian bull wrestling.

Mongolian horse racing

Experience the Thrilling Mongolian Horse Racing Competition at the Naadam Festival

12:30 PM: Our next stop will be the Khui Doloon Khudag, the venue for the Mongolian horse racing competition. This event is an integral part of the country's rich cultural heritage, and the unique techniques used by Mongolian herders to train their horses make this competition a truly exceptional experience. The exhilarating horse race will provide an opportunity to witness the impressive horsemanship skills of local riders.

Mongolians are passionate about horse racing and participate in races throughout the year. However, the most significant and thrilling event takes place during the Naadam Festival. The horses are divided into six age categories, and the race distance varies depending on the age group. For instance, two-year-old horses race for 10-12 km (6-7.5 miles), while stallions race for an average of 23 km (14.5 miles), and seven-year-old horses race for 25-26 km (15.5-16 miles). The track length can vary from one location to another depending on the race field's surface.

The jockeys are usually between the ages of 5 and 13 years and must be light in weight and experienced in riding. During the race, they not only ride the horses but also sing a special song called “Giingo” to encourage and comfort their horses throughout the grueling long-distance race.

concert naadam

After the horse race concludes, we will return to the hotel to rest before continuing our tour to the Naadam 2022 concert on Chinggis Khaan Square. The concert offers an opportunity to immerse oneself in the vibrant Mongolian culture, featuring a diverse array of traditional and contemporary music and dance performances.

Tour Information:

Our travel itinerary includes visiting Ulaanbaatar, Central Stadium, Khui Doloon Khudag, and returning to Ulaanbaatar.

Travel distance: approximately 60km

Tour Date: July 11th, 2023

Tour Duration: Full-day tour

Tour Inclusions:

  • Breakfast and traditional Mongolian cuisine

  • Bottled water, tea, and other beverages

  • Driver and English-speaking guide

Packing List:

Here is a recommended packing list, which can be tailored to your personal preferences. For more detailed information, please refer to our travel guide.

  • Backpack or soft-sided bag

  • Personal medications

  • Cotton t-shirts

  • Sun hat

  • Sandals

  • Sunglasses

  • Sunscreen

  • Money belt/pouch

  • Copy of insurance confirmation

  • Emergency contact number

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Anne S

Our extraordinary visit to Mongolia featured the highly anticipated Naadam festival, where we witnessed the awe-inspiring opening ceremony, archery, horse racing, wrestling finals, and the closing ceremony. Upon our arrival, a grand parade was held right outside our hotel, and the festivities continued throughout our stay. The Naadam festival is undoubtedly a must-see event, and we highly recommend scheduling your trip during this time. It was reminiscent of the spectacular opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, only it takes place annually in Mongolia!

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