Naadam Festival in Mongolia Date in the current year: July 11, 2016

Naadam Festival in Mongolia Naadam is a traditional three-day festival in Mongolia which is celebrated as a public holiday. It is held from July 11 to July 13. In 2010, it was included to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Naadam is a Mongolian midsummer celebration. Is is believed to have existed for centuries. Currently it formally commemorates the Mongolian Revolution of 1921 and establishment of the Mongolian People's Republic.

The festival includes three sporting competitions (archery, horse racing, Mongolian wrestling) collectively known as “the three games of men” or “three manly skills”. Recently, women have started participating in the horse racing and archery games, but Mongolian wrestling still remains an all-male sport.

Competitions are held throughout the country, but the biggest festival is held at the National Sports Stadium in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. The opening ceremony features athletes, horse riders, dancers and musicians. The ceremony is followed by the competitions that last for three days.

Mongolian wrestling is considered the most important “manly skill”. Typically, 512 or 1024 wrestlers meet in a single-elimination tournament. Horse races in Mongolia are cross country-events. Children are allowed to participate as jockeys. Finally, archery competitions are played by teams of 10. Both men and women can participate.

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