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The Festival of the Three Manly Sports

Mongolia's Naadam FestivalNaadam Festival Opening CeremonyNaadam Horse RacingNaadam WrestlingNaadam ArcheryNaadam Anklebone Shooting

Naadam 2023

Naadam Festivalplay_arrow

July 11–15, 2023

Across Mongolia, Mongolians will celebrate Naadam, the Festival of the Three Manly Sports. In Ulaanbaatar, as well as in towns across Mongolia, athletes will compete in wrestling, archery and horse racing.

Classic Trips
Nomadic Life and Naadam

Opening Ceremony

On the morning of July 11, Mongolians gather at Ulaanbaatar's National Central Stadium for the Naadam Opening Ceremony, a grand celebration of Mongolian dance, music and culture.

Naadam commemorates the 102nd anniversary of the Mongolian Revolution, the 817th anniversary of the Mongol Empire and the 2,232nd anniversary of the Hunnu Empire.

Naadam Festivalplay_arrow

Horse Racing

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.

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Naadam Horse Racing
Mongolian Wrestling

Wrestling

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 National Central Stadium in Ulaanbaatar. The nation's top 512 wrestlers compete for two days in nine untimed, single-elimination rounds.

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Naadam Wrestling
Experiencing Naadamplay_arrow

Archery

A Mongolian bow takes a full year to make using birch bark, ibex horns, and other natural materials.

Monoglia's tradition of archery has shaped world history, allowing Genghis Khan to conquer the world. The National Naadam Festival features both men's and women's competitions at the National Archery Field next to Ulaanbaatar's Naadam Stadium.

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Naadam Archery
Ankle Bone Shooting (Shagai)play_arrow

Anklebone Shooting

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.