Mongolia: There’s Nothing like Naadam

Mongolia: There’s Nothing like Naadam

The annual Naadam Festival is the biggest celebration of the year in Mongolia, showcasing the “Three Sports of Man,” horse racing, Mongolian wrestling and archery:

  • Cheer on the sturdy steppe horses with their school-age riders.
  • Admire the stately wrestlers in their traditional eagle costumes.
  • Marvel at the skill of the archers, who wield the same type of bow that Genghis Khan’s armies used, carefully crafted of birch, fish glue and deer sinew.

The Naadam Festival originated many centuries ago, but in the 20th century this celebration of the nomad’s courage, strength, dexterity and marksmanship now commemorates July 11th, the anniversary of Mongolia’s independence from China.

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Two Ways to Celebrate Naadam: Go Big or Go Local

Now you can choose to attend either:


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MIR’s Great Naadam Festival Adventures

MIR offers three ways for travelers to be part of the pageantry of Naadam. Choose from outstanding small group tours, exclusive rail journeys by private train or create your own Naadam adventure with our private and custom travel options.


Why end might the Naadam Festival on a Small Group Tour

Each expertly-guided small group tour travels with a maximum of 16 participants (some are even capped at 12) and features all-inclusive land pricing (more details).

MIR’s small group tours that include the Naadam Festival:

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Celebrate Naadam on a Rail Journey by Private Train

Our rail journeys by private train are in a class of their own, allowing travelers to experience remote destinations in style and comfort – particularly enjoyable on the legendary Mongolian Route of the Trans-Siberian Railway:

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A Custom & Private Naadam Adventure Just For You

Whether you’re looking for a compact trip with all the highlights or something a little roomier with some of the extras, MIR’s Private Journeys department can suggest places to see and things to do based on our local knowledge, and design a one-of-a-kind itinerary for you, your family or your group of friends.

Get started by completing our easy Custom Travel Inquiry Form.

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More Information about Naadam

See more photos and read more details about travel to Mongolia and Naadam in these articles:

Places to Go, People to See in Mongolia: 7 Favorites
The time to visit is now; huge reserves of gold, copper and coal have created deep global interest in what can be found under Mongolia’s endless grasslands.

A Year of Celebrations: Holidays, Festivals and Special Events to Add to Your Travel Calendar
Here are a few ideas for how to add a celebration or festival to your own calendar, and add some revelry to your next trip.

Mongolia’s Naadam Festival: Why Go?
Mongolia’s annual Naadam Festival in July is the country’s favorite festival, showcasing Mongolia’s best in wrestling, horse racing and archery.

Naadam Festival: Mongolia’s Ancient Games
MIR Tour Manager Michel Behar loves the colorful traditions and fiercely competitive games of the Naadam Festival. Here he answers the questions most frequently asked about the annual event.

Naadam Festival: Opening Ceremonies
Mongolia’s athletically inclined Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar has its own “wow” factor as well, and it’s priceless. 

Mongolia’s UlaanBaatar, Beyond Naadam
UlaanBaatar is also known as the “heart of Mongolia” in politics, culture, and business, an important commercial center between Beijing and St. Petersburg, strategically located along the Trans-Siberian Railway. 

Spiritual & National Roots of Mongolia’s Naadam Festival
MIR’s Tour Manager Michel Behar can’t remember how many times he’s been to Mongolia’s ancient Naadam Festival. But what he does know is that this is no ordinary celebration of colorful costumes and fanfare. Naadam’s complex history reflects its many facets, spiritually and nationally. 

Naadam Festival Friends: Examining the bows that Genghis Khan's warriors used in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Naadam Festival friends: Examining the same type of bow that Genghis Khan’s warriors used in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Top photo: A traditional Naadam Festival celebration in Mongolia. Photo credit: Martin Klimenta

PUBLISHED: October 27, 2014

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