Naadam Festival - Mongolia

Naadam Festival - Mongolia

Witness the strength of Mongolian men at the Naadam Festival. Known as the “manly games” or the “3 games of men”, despite women now being permitted, competitors take part in the horse racing, wrestling and archery competitions.

The three manly games that are referred to are archery, horseracing and wrestling, these three feats being considered the most important to a Mongolian warrior. Perhaps fittingly, wrestling still remains an entirely manly affair – though to Westerners, the outfits worn do vaguely resemble a bikini worn backwards! The Naadam Festival is the most widely enjoyed festival throughout Mongolia, and is also celebrated in regions of China with large Mongolian populations. The origins of the Naadam Festival date back thousands of years, and was originally reserved for those serving in the military. In modern times, the festival commemorates the 1921 revolution when Mongolia declared itself a free country from the Republic of China, though it fought until 1945 before finally gaining international recognition. The largest gathering for Naadam is in the capital of Mongolia - Ulaan Baatar. Locals come from miles around to take part in the events or just to dress in their finest and be seen. The first 2 days of the Naadam Festival are typically dedicated to the main events, and the final day is put aside for merry making.

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