National Naadam Festival 2018

Opening ceremony of the National Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar on the morning of 11th July 2018. Naadam Festival is celebrated in summer throughout the country. This was one of the reasons for me to be in Mongolia this summer besides photographing deserts and mountains. I was scheduled to see the rural festival at the ancient capital of Karakorum. Unfortunately, there was the spread of hand, food and mouth disease in the area. Therefore, the government have decided to postpone the festival in Karakorum. Thanks to my Mongolian ground handler who got this ticket for me to attend the National ceremony instead. 

There is another village that I went to for a smaller scale rural Naadam festival, see my next blog.  

The opening ceremony is grand and colourful to commemorate the 2227th anniversary of the Mongolian statehood, 812th anniversary of the Great Mongol Empire and the 97th anniversary of the Mongolian People’s Revolution. Beautiful traditional dances and performances. Ancient games such as archery, wrestling, horse race and ankle bone shooting are ongoing matches throughout the festival. Women are also actively participating in archery matches. 

Rain did not deter the participation of locals as well as tourists. In fact, Mongolians believe that rain brings luck.  Every Mongolians are dressed in their best traditional costumes for this big day.

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