Deeltei Mongol Festival
Just a day before Naadam Festival officially starts, on July 10, Deeltei
Mongol Naadam-Mongolians in National Costume Festival is annually organized
at the central square of Ulaanbaatar and offers you to meet people with
a lot of traditional Mongolian clothing on display.
Mongolian National Costume Festival Programs: Opening ceremony, Parade of participants dressed in national costumes, Ceremony of the Nine White Banners, Mongolian Costume National runway, Cultural performance, Contest of a best-dressed couple (in Mongolian national costume)’, Contest of a best-dressed foreigner (in Mongolian national costume), Contest of public dance and Best Dancing Couple, Closing ceremony-Award ceremony (Most actively participated organizations, most actively participated and well-organized district)
During the festival many other cultural events such as exhibitions of national dress, souvenirs,s, and other cultural promotions are organized.
Naadam Festival Opening Ceremony
which starts at about 11 am at the Naadam Stadium in Ulaanbaatar, includes an impressive march of monks and athletes, plenty of music, most colorful and amazing parades. The first round of the wrestling, which starts at about noon on day one in the main stadium, is the more interesting and photogenic.You will see the grand opening of the Naadam festival which involves Mongolia’s president, celebrities, fashion models, contortionists, and much more. The festival kicks off with a colorful parade of athletes, soldiers, musicians, and people dressed in ancient warriors’ costumes, and then it turns to competitions as wrestling, archery and horseracing.
Mongolian National Wrestling
The Mongolian government officially awards national titles to the wrestlers;
therefore, only the most prominent wrestlers compete in the State or Ulaanbaatar’s
Naadam. Wrestlers wear special clothes which show the beauty and strength
of their bodies.
Mongolian Wrestling contests at Naadam, 512 or 1024 wrestlers meet in a
single-elimination tournament that lasts nine or ten rounds. As there is
no weight class. Before the contest wrestlers perform an eagle dance to
limber ups and displays their fine physiques.
The costume of the
wrestler consists of great heavy, decorated boots, a small long sleeved
top with bare chest and even smaller pair of briefs. The pride of
Mongolia is the wrestler. The men participating in this event are
revered by all Mongolians and the winner is given the most prestigious
title of “Lion”.
Mongolia Naadam Horse Racing
Horse racing is the favorite sport of the herders who bring their best
horses from great distances. Unlike Western horse racing, which take
place outside the city on the steppe over distances from 15 to 30
kilometers, are a test of endurance for the horses and riders, boys and
The riders are aged from 6 to 12 Mongolian children of these
ages are good riders, as both boys and girls have been riding since
infancy. Both child and horse are decorated in bright silks and ribbons
for race day.
During the races, up to 1000 horses gathered from
every corner of Mongolia can be chosen to compete divided into six
categories based on the age of the horses. For example, two-year-old
horses race for 10 miles (16 kilometers) and seven-year-olds for 17
miles (30 kilometrs). Race horses are fed a special diet.
Naadam Festival Archery
Archery contests continue a tradition dating from the time of Genghis
Khan when they were intended to sharpen military skills. Contestants use
compound bows fashioned from sinew, wood, horn and bamboo, and strung
with bull tendon.
Men fire 40 arrows made from willow branches and
griffin vulture feathers from a distance of 75 meters and women deliver
20 arrows from 60 meters at a target.
In accordance with ancient
custom, several men stand on either side of the target singing a folk
song to cheer the contestants and then use hand signals to indicate the
Naadam Ancle bone shooting game
Ankle bone shoots – Another popular Naadam activity is the playing of games
using shagai, sheep anklebones that serve as game pieces and tokens of
both divination and friendship. In the larger Nadaam festivals, tournaments
may take place in a separate venue.Naadam is called “Erin Gurban Naadam”
meaning “three manly games”. The three manly games/sports are archery,
wrestling and horse racing. The ankle bone shooting is a UNESCO registered
World Heritage game, and was officially added to the Naadam games in 1998.
-Ankle-bone shooting competitions can be held in teams or among individual
players. The Naadam festival ankle-bone shooting is played in teams. There
are ankle-bone shooting tents or fields at the Naadam arena. There are
several games in progress at the same time. Each team has 6 main players,
plus two stand-by players. -A player shoots target bones put in rows on
a small wooden structure called “Zurkhai”. Behind the Zurkhai is an Aravch
board, which helps the target bones and bullet bone not to scatter. The
shooting target distance is 4.7m.