The Naadam Festival also known as eriyn gurvan nadaam (эрийн гурван наадам) means “the three games of men” and is celebrated in July, each year.
This year the festival falls on the weekend of the 11th to 13th July and the celebration kicks off with an opening ceremony on the first day, which includes a parade hosted by local Mongolians, music influenced by the Mongolian military and a march displayed by Mongolian soldiers. This in part commemorates the revolution of 1921 when Mongolia declared itself an independent country.
The remainder of the festival focuses on three key competitions: wrestling, horse racing and archery. Each of these games capture the historical and cultural significance important to local Mongolians, today, that remember their ancestral roots.
Wrestling signifies the belief that men, and in particular soldiers, should remain at the peak of their fitness. Unlike modern wrestling, the competition at Naadam has unusual rules: the weight of the competitor has no consequence – a small person may be matched against a larger person – and with no time limits too, these guidelines make it a thrilling event to watch!
Horse racing displays how Mongolians traditionally relied on horses for all aspects of their development. Traditionally, horses became their means of transport, their ability to feed and support themselves and even enabled Mongolian people to interact socially with fellow Mongolians that lived further afield. Even today, many Mongolians rely on horses as a means of transportation and to support their welfare, while children learn to ride a horse from an early age, including toddlers as young as 2 years old.
Archery showcases the strategy of Mongolian soldiers over centuries. Over hundreds of years, soldiers develop their combat skills using archery, though they also used archery to hunt for food and provide sustenance to the army too. Traditionally, archery allowed Mongolians to establish their place as great warriors of the time and this pride carries over to Mongolians, even today, showcased throughout the Naadam celebrations.
At Real Russia, we believe the Naadam Festival is an event everyone should experience. Alongside the tri-sports, there are many other events to enjoy, including folk dancers, exhibitions and craft fairs. Many people at the festival dress in traditional costumes, allowing you to immerse yourself in the customs of Mongolians, even further!
If you would like to visit the Naadam festival or to travel to Mongolia, we have a range of fixed tours and excursions that allow you to indulge in the magnificence of Mongolia. Please contact our travel team who will be happy to offer advice inspiring your dream trip!
Text added August 2014
In celebration of us winning, ‘Russia's Leading Travel Agency’ at the World Travel Awards 2014 for the second consecutive year, we will be extending our support to Go Help further by making a donation! Thank you for the support from our customers and partners, without their help this award would simply not be possible.
Original March blog for Go Help – re Chariy Rallies Launch (July 2014)
Real Russia is pleased once again to announce our involvement with the Go Help Charity Rally.
Go Help is a UK based charity where volunteers work with local communities in Central Asia and America in improving access to education and healthcare services.
Plans are well under way, as many voluntary teams are spreading awareness and support for their excellent cause. The teams aim to launch and operate ambulance services in third world countries and it is a cause that Real Russia feel is particularly worthy of support!
Under the ‘Charity Rallies’ name, ‘Go Help’ runs three rallies:
As Real Russia has assisted Go Help Charity Rallies over the last 3 years, our visa specialists are experienced and understand the timeline for the rallies and the border requirements specific to each route. We can provide support and preparations for visas for the Mongolian Charity Rally and the Roof of the World Charity Rally routes.
If you are a volunteer participating on one of these two routes and would like to arrange your visas, feel free to speak to one of our visa specialists, via email at:
Or by phone at, 0207 100 7370 (Ext 350) – The extension number 350 has been set up on the Real Russia phone line, specifically to help Charity Rally participants arranging their visas.
Please keep in mind that for the Mongolia Charity Rally (Southern Route) to allow enough time for the visa applications for all sections of the route, we have set a deadline of the 4th April 2014.
If you are interested to know more about the ambulance charity events ran by Go Help, see their website at:
Good luck to all teams raising support; hopefully we can help lighten the pressure of arranging the visas!
It has been announced that, during February, the following visa application centres and consulates will be closed on some days due to national holidays:
Chinese Visa Application Centre
– Monday 11th February 2013 until Wednesday 13th February 2013
– Monday 11th February 2013 until Tuesday 12th February 2013
– Monday 11th February 2013 until Friday 15th February 2013
These closures could have an effect on visa processing times so please be aware of this if you are planning on using these services.