Danshig Naadam Festival
An Ancient Ritual
On August 4 and 5, 2018, Mongolians will gather on the steppe just outside of Ulaanbaatar to celebrate the annual Danshig Naadam Festival. For centuries, Mongolians have competed in the Three Manly Sports: wrestling, archery and horse racing. Beginning in 1639, these competitions were incorporated into Danshig Naadam, gatherings of nomads, nobles and monks from far-flung areas for religious activities and sports. In 2015, the city of Ulaanbaatar and the city's Buddhist monasteries jointly reestablished the annual celebration of Danshig Naadam, incorporating the Three Manly Sports, the Buddhist tsam dance, cultural performances and religious competitions.
Three Manly Sports
At Danshig Naadam, athletes compete in the Three Manly Sports: wrestling, archery and horse racing, the sports also featured in the July 11 Naadam Festival, a secular reimagination of Danshig Naadam created after the 1921 People's Revolution.
At Danshig Naadam, monks wearing elaborate costumes and papier-mâché masks perform the tsam dance, a spectacular day-long performance and purification ritual.
Hui Doloon Hudag
Mongolia will celebrate Danshig Naadam at Hui Doloon Hudag, a fairgrounds on the steppe just west of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital. Thousands of residents will come from the city to celebrate.
Danshig Naadam is a window into Mongolian culture, a time to experience both traditional sports and Buddhist rituals. Witness Children racing horses, archers celebrating millennia of steppe warrior tradition, monks expelling desire through timeless rituals and more.