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The Festival of the Three Manly Sports

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

Naadam Festival 2024

Naadam Opening Ceremonyplay_arrow

Book Your Journey to the Naadam Festival

A feast for the senses filled with culture and pageantry, the Naadam Festival is Mongolia's biggest celebration of the year, held July 11–15, 2024. During Naadam, Mongolians honor their heritage and compete in the Three Manly Sports: wrestling, archery and horse racing.

Naadam Festival Tours

Any visit to Mongolia is unforgettable, but a trip during Naadam is simply magical, as the entire nation celebrates and showcases nomadic culture. We are currently booking for private, custom travel to the 2024 Naadam Festival!

Prefer to travel with a group? Our small group journeys for the 2024 Naadam Festival are sold out. Instead, join Blue Silk Travel next year, July 9–21, 2025, for Nomadic Life and Naadam, our exclusive small group journey across Mongolia featuring the best of the Naadam Festival!

Naadam Festival Opening Ceremonyplay_arrow

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. Attending the ceremony is a dream of travelers and Mongolians alike. Blue Silk Travel guarantees sought-after opening ceremony tickets for our travelers.

In 2024, Naadam commemorates the 103rd anniversary of the Mongolian Revolution, the 818th anniversary of the Mongol Empire and the 2,233rd anniversary of the Hunnu Empire.

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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.

During Naadam, horses race long distance across the open steppe. Horses are categorized by age, while jockeys are children who ride bareback.

Thousands of spectators pack the fairgrounds outside Ulaanbaatar for the Naadam horse races. Blue Silk Travel provides tickets for seats in the exclusive reserved section near the finish line so our travelers can enjoy the festivities while being assured of an excellent view.

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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.

Mongolian wrestling is a complex, tradition-rich sport. Our tour leaders' knowledge helps Blue Silk Travel guests understand and enjoy the action on the field.

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Naadam Wrestling
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Archery

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

Mongolia's archery prowess 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.

Naadam is paradise for photography enthusiasts. Thanks to our years of experience with the Naadam Festival, Blue Silk Travel provides travelers tips on getting the best shots of archery and the rest of Naadam.

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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 deer antler bullet, trying to knock down a row of sheep anklebones.

The chanting and passion of the shooters make anklebone shooting a traveler favorite, but it's easy to overlook when trying to "Do Naadam" in one day. By spreading out our time at Naadam across multiple days, Blue Silk Travel lets visitors enjoy all facets of the festival.

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Mongolia Celebrates!

Naadam celebrations extend beyond just the opening ceremony and sports competitions. In the days around the Naadam Festival, Ulaanbaatar is filled with cultural events. From the Mongolian Deel Festival, an annual celebration of Mongolian clothing, to special exhibits at museums and galleries, to public concerts on Sukhbaatar Square, the city offers something for everyone.