Festival of the Three Manly Sports
The eagle dance of wrestlers, the careful aim of archers, the stamina of horse and rider.
From July 11 to July 15, 2020, Mongolians will celebrate Naadam, the Festival of the Three Manly Sports, commemorating the 99th of the Mongolian Revolution, the 814th of the Mongol Empire and the 2,229th anniversary of the Hunnu Empire.
At the National Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar, as well as in towns across Mongolia, athletes will compete in wrestling, archery and horse racing.
From pop stars to the President, a who's who of Mongolia participates in this annual extravaganza at Ulaanbaatar's Naadam Stadium.
On the morning of July 11, Mongolians gather for the Naadam Opening Ceremony, grand celebration of Mongolian dance, music and culture.
Zodog, Mongolian wrestler's frontless vests, are based on the legend of a princess whom no man could defeat in wrestling. Men now wrestle bare-chested to prevent a woman from entering a tournment and defeating them again.
Wrestling in the National Naadam Festival takes place in the Naadam Stadium just south of downtown Ulaanbaatar. The nation's top five hundred twelve wrestlers compete for two days in nine untimed, single-elimination rounds.
A Mongolian bow takes a full year to make using birch bark, mountain goat horns and other animal parts.
Monoglia's tradition of archery has shaped world history, allowing Genghis Khan to conquer the world with a cavalry that could shoot while mounted.
The National Naadam Festival features both men's and women's competitions at the National Archery Field next to Ulaanbaatar's Naadam Stadium.
At the end of each horse race, the crowd rushes forward, surrounding the winning horse. Touching the sweat of the winning horse brings good luck for the rest of the year.
For Naadam, horses race long distance across the open steppe. Horses are categorized by age, while jockeys are children who ride bareback.
Sheep anklebones, or shagai, are important objects, used by Mongolians for both games and fortune-telling.
In the tradition-rich game of anklebone shooting, competitors fling a domino-like bullet, trying to knock down a row of sheep anklebones.