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Ten Facts You Might Not Know About Mongolia

Ten Facts You Might Not Know About Mongolia

Find out more about the fascinating country and its rich history.

1) 30-40% of the population remains Nomadic. Mongolia is famous for its Nomadic history and much of that is still seen in modern Mongolian life. The Naadam festivals celebrated horseback riding, archery and wrestling all of which have their roots in the Nomadic lifestyle. Mongolia remains one of the world's few remaining cultures with 30-40% of the population remaining Nomadic. Most nomads work as herdsmen, moving their livestock throughout the year to find the best conditions.

2) 45% of Mongolia's population live in its capital city, Ulan-Bator and 60% of Ulan-Bator's population lives outside the city in ger camps.

3) Bactarian camels are native to Mongolia and are famous for their two humps. They're much rarer than their one humped counterparts. They're beloved animals in Mongolia, they even have a festival dedicated to them that involves camel racing and pageantry.

4) Mongolia's largest festival is the Naadam festival which involves horse racing, archery and wrestling! It's a fantastic festival attended by locals and travellers annually. It's a fun event with traditional dress, folklore, local food and much more. It's a great chance to learn about Mongolia's heritage from people who still cherish it.

5) Wrestling is an important part of Mongolian culture, and a yearly tournament is held on Mongolian's Independence Day. The first-place winner earns the right to call themselves Arslan (Lion), and if they win two years in a row they earn the title Avrag (Titan). The runner up is called Dan (Elephant) and third-place is Nachin (Eagle).

6) There is a theory Mongolian horsemen invented Ice-Cream! They would take cream in containers as provisions for long journeys across the Gobi in winter. As they galloped, the cream was shaken and the sub-zero temperatures caused it to freeze as it churned. This would then create Ice-Cream. The expansion of the Mongol empire spread Ice-Cream through China and Marco Polo is then said to have bought the idea back to Italy from his travels in 1295.

7) Mongolia is the most sparsely populated nation in the world with only 4.3 people per square mile. For context, China has roughly 142 people per square mile.

8) There are 13 times more horses than humans and it's estimated sheep outnumber people anywhere from 8 to 30 sheep per person. Mongolia isn't alone in this though, New Zealand has 20 sheep per human and the Faukland Islands has 368 sheep per human.

9) Mongolia's main religion is Lamaism, of the Yellow sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It originated in Tibet around the 7th Century and Mongolian ruler Altan Khan introduced Lamaism to the Mongolian population in the 16th Century. Altan Khan was also the first

10) Mongolian is a member of the Ural-Altaic family of languages, which includes Finnish, Turkish, Kazakh, Uzbek and Korean among others.

Do you know any other facts about Mongolia? Which was your favourite fact?