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Inner Mongolia Naadam Festival

 2011-12-31    Shieen    Sights    Ulaanbaatar    861  

The Naadam Festival is one of the major festivals of Inner Mongolia and is linked to the Mongolian military history. Naadam is a traditional type of festival in Mongolia. The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery and are held throughout the country during the midsummer holidays. Women have started participating in the archery and girls in the horse-racing games, but not in Mongolian wrestling.


About Naadam Festival

The biggest Naadam Festival is held in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar during the National Holiday from July 11-13, in the National Sports Stadium. Other cities and towns across Mongolia and those with significant Mongolian populations in China, have their own, smaller scale Naadam celebrations. It begins with an elaborate introduction ceremony featuring dancers, athletes, horse riders, and musicians. After the ceremony, the competitions begin.


Naadam is the most widely watched festival among Mongols, and is believed to have existed for centuries in one fashion or another. Another popular Naadam activity is the playing of games using shagai, sheep anklebones that serve as game pieces and tokens of both divination and friendship. In the larger Nadaam festivals, tournaments may take place in a separate venue. In 2010, Naadam was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.  


When to see Naadam Festival

Most cities celebrate Naadam during July every year. But some provinces and soums celebrate on different dates due to big celebration like anniversary of foundation. 

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