Naadam Festival: Opening Ceremonies

Naadam Festival: Opening Ceremonies

Olympic Games opening ceremonies come and go, each with its own “wow” factor. Athletes. Movie stars. Rock singers. Parachutists. Royalty. Plus a TV audience of billions, and lately costing a cool $50M to $100M for a few hours of athletically inclined entertainment.

Mongolia’s 850-year-old athletically inclined Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar has its own “wow” factor as well, and it’s priceless. The national festival offers its own memorable opening ceremonies, replete with rock stars, movie stars, Mongolia’s president, fashion models, contortionists and a TV audience – just not in the billions.

Electrifying colors for an electrifying performance at the Naadam Festival opening ceremonies <br>Photo credit: Helge Pedersen.

Electrifying colors for an electrifying performance at the Naadam Festival opening ceremonies
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

All eyes are on these riveting costumes worn by young Mongolian women and men at Naadam's opening ceremonies <br /> Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Riveting costumes worn by young Mongolian women and men at Naadam’s opening ceremonies
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Military traditions live on at the Naadam Festival opening ceremonies in UlaanBaatar <br>Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Military traditions live on at the Naadam Festival opening ceremonies in Ulaanbaatar
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Olympics, Mongolian-StyleThe country’s best in wrestling, archery, and horsemanship parade in the opening ceremonies, as they’ve done since the days of Genghis Khan, who devised these games that have lived on for centuries.

Mongolian wrestlers line up at the Naadam Festival in UlaanBaatar <br>Photo credit: Ana Filonov

Mongolian wrestlers line up at the Naadam Festival in UlaanBaatar
Photo credit: Ana Filonov

Horsemanship, from generation to generation at Mongolia's Naadam Festival in UlaanBaatar <br>Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Horsemanship, from generation to generation at Mongolia’s Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Some love the fashion show aspect, with women especially grabbing attention with their mile-high headgear of Mongolian bogqtas (hats), often towering five to seven feet atop their heads.  

Naadam is all about the sights and sounds, a colorful tribute to Mongolian history and traditions that can be traced back to those long-ago days of Genghis Khan.

Top hat, indeed! Mongolian headgear on parade at the Naadam Festival opening ceremonies in UlaanBaatar <br>Photo credit: Michel Behar

Top hat, indeed! Mongolian headgear on parade at the Naadam Festival opening ceremonies in Ulaanbaatar
Photo credit: Michel Behar

Tall hats aren't in short supply at the Naadam Festival opening ceremonies <br>Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Tall hats aren’t in short supply at the Naadam Festival opening ceremonies
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

 

Travel To Mongolia with MIR

Learn more about MIR tours that travel to Mongolia, where the Naadam Festival is an enduring highlight. You can also book a custom private journey to Mongolia and the Naadam Festival. 

 (Top photo credit: Helge Pedersen – Masked tsam dancers on parade)

PUBLISHED: November 13, 2014

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