The Naadam Festival

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The Naadam Festival is the nationwide celebrations known to Mongolians since the antiquity. Its dates generally occurred during mid-summer, and the 20th century brought fixed dates from 11 to 13 July in commemoration of the victory of the 1921 People’s Revolution.

Generally known as Eriin gurvan naadam, or “Three Manly Games,” primary components of Naadam are wrestling, archery and horse racing. These stem from a millennia-long tradition of annual military drills under the patronage of the great khans and generals for their warrior subjects. Over time those drills grew into competitive sports and participation of well-trained men of high skills transformed the Three Manly Games into the modern event of popular attraction.
As noted above, the official celebrations take place throughout the country between 11 and 13th July annually. The principal festival is held in Ulaanbaatar, while all provinces and counties celebrate their local Naadam festivals, some of which may fall on different dates till August. Each year, over 35 thousand wrestlers, 40 thousand horses and 1500 archers compete in Naadam throughout the country.

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