Naadam, Small Town Mongolia

We got the very good advice to spend Naadam, Mongolia’s biggest holiday, in one of the smaller towns rather than in Ulaanbaatar. Naadam celebrates Mongolia’s three “manly sports:” horse racing, wrestling and archery. People come together for a few days, wear their best clothes and enjoy the competitions. It was so much fun.
The night before the official opening, the town had a concert that we were able to attend. It seemed like the entire population was there, all dressed up and greeting each other, while the acts ranged from groups of dancers, teenagers playing instruments, the high school marching band and some interesting fusions of traditional and modern music. Some of the performers had done too much karaoke and overestimated their talent, but some were excellent. And who doesn’t love a group of ten year olds playing recorders?
The opening ceremony was a mix of Mongolian history and folklore and local celebration, many of which featured horses.
IMG_1304The governor rode in on a horse, too:

1655664_10152622384730746_9138688145067128035_oThere were also dances and then a parade. The marching band:
IMG_1322Some of the town leaders:
IMG_1326Wrestlers of all ages:
IMG_1331Wrestling competition underway:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMuch as I appreciate the skill of archery, and the fact that women also compete, it’s not all that interesting to watch.
10494516_10152622387530746_1330336689149265954_oThe clothes were gorgeous.
(Photos of governor and archers were taken by our visiting friend.)

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Naadam, Small Town Mongolia

  1. Very cool post. Archery is only fun when you’re doing it. Not so much to watch.

  2. I love it! Thank you for sharing these great photos! πŸ˜€

  3. Nice to read other experiences. Lovely pictures too, congrats! πŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: The Down Side of Naadam | Drinking Coffee Elsewhere: Mongolia

  5. Pingback: Summer Travel in Central Mongolia | Drinking Coffee Elsewhere: Mongolia

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