Naadam Festival - Archery competition
Photo by N.Davaasuren
Mongolia is country with an ancient culture and antique historical remains of all stages of Human history in Central Asia. Naadam has been registered with the Intangible Heritage Fund of UNESCO just before its start last year elevating Mongolia Naadam to a global festival. Scholars and historians suggest that this public holiday traces back as far as 1BC, when the Xiongnu Empire was first established. The scattered Xiongnu tribes organized men’s games to test the courage and strength of their warriors. Since 1921, Mongolian national holiday is "Naadam" celebrated every year, from the 11th of July to 13th of July in Ulaanbaatar, Central Mongolia and from the 08th of July to 09th of July in countryside (villages). During these days you can see "Three games of man". There is Mongolian National wrestling, the horse racing in which participate children 5-10 years old, and archery.
Opening ceremony: The festival starts most colorful and amazing parades in central stadium of UB.
Wrestling is one of the traditional sports of the Mongols called "Three manly Games" and a big event of the Mongolian National holiday. Wrestling is not only a test of strength, but also have dexterous tricks, and can be even called as an art. The wrestling are attires in special wearing called zodog(a vest) and shuudag (pants).
Archery - The rust arrowhead was popular then. As many people as possible could take part in the contest and the winner was the ones who shot their arrows the farthest. This kind of contest was in existence in the 13th century and was in use until recently.
Horseracing - This sport is also century's old, dating back to the Bronze Age. They are then taken to an adequate pasture separate from the herd and trained. The riders are aged from 5 to 12 Mongolian children of these ages are good riders, as both boys and girls have been riding since infancy.The festival has been visited by an increasing number of foreigners in recent years.