Naadam is an age old celebration of the test of courage, strength, dexterity, and marksmanship or the nomads. It is held annually from July 11-13th throughout the country. The three “manly games” consist of horse racing, wrestling and archery. The race is over 30 km in distance and is raced by young riders some as young as six year old. Wresting start with traditional “eagle dance” that is supposed to lift the spirit. Archery dates back to the times of Chinggis Khaan’s warriors. People also compete in ankle bone shooting.
For more than, 2000 year Mongolians have been celebrating Tsagaan Sar or the White month, to mark end of winter and beginning of spring The holiday takes place January – February according to the lunar calendar. Tsagaan sar is the celebration of new life and symbolizes wealth and prosperity in the family. The holiday is celebration for three days where the elderly and most respected and close family members are visited first they holiday provides opportunity for people to gather and celebrate and exchange news and gifts Families prepare for the holiday a month in advance by making plenty of food and gifts. In rural areas, due to distance and weather conditions, the celebrations at times can last longer than a month. Buddhist monasteries and temples hold rituals and services to pray and bless for the well being of the worshipers. Tsagaan sar provides a great opportunity to share the celebration one of the most sacred holidays in Mongolia with nomads out in the steppes while enjoying the last of winter.