The Naadam Festival is the most important, biggest event and holiday of Mongolians. The main festival is held in the capital Ulaanbaatar, although other provinces and small towns across Mongolia have their own, smaller scale Naadam celebrations. It is three manly sports: wrestling, archery and horse racing.
08:45 Walk to Government House to see Soldiers on horseback, sometimes dressed in Chinggis Khan Warrior’s regalia, will get the nine white horsetail banners at the Parliament house where they are normally displayed and will then ride in procession through the city, later to be placed in the center of the National Stadium, from where we will be viewing the Opening Ceremony.
Naadam festival is opened officially by the President of Mongolia. At the stadium, a huge procession is held including hundreds of adults and children dressed in costumes representing Mongolia’s numerous ethnic groups. The opening ceremony features a colorful show with folk music and dance, parachute show and more. The first round of wrestling will start immediately thereafter. After that you will see the archery competitions where contestants can only rely on his keen eye, firm hand and experience, take aim at a target of fist-sized baskets; and ankle bone shooting competition.
We will drive to Khui Doloon Khudag, the horse racing field. Mongol horse racing is part of a living cultural heritage, similar to the equestrian tradition that brought the Mongol armies to faraway places during medieval times. We will see the four-year-old horse racing. The horse race is actually a bit far from the barriers set up for visitors, so bring binoculars! We can visit nomadic tented camps that have sprung up behind the race track and experience a concentration of nomadic Mongolia at one site!
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