Naadam is an age of celebration of the test of courage, strength, dexterity and marksmanship of the nomads. it is held annually from July 11-13th throughout the country. The three “mainly games” consists of horse racing, wrestling, and archery. The race is over 30km in distance and is raced by young riders, over seven years old. Wrestling starts with traditional “Eagle Dance” that is supported to lift the wrestlers spirit. Archery dates back to the times of Chinggis Khaan’s warriors. People also also complete in ankle bone shooting.
For more than 2000 years Mongolians have been celebrating Tsagaan Sar or the white month, to mark the end of the winter and beginning of spring. The takes place January – February according to the luner calendar. Tsagaan sar is the celebration of new life and symbolized wealth and prosperity in the family. The holiday is celebrated for three days where the elderly and most respected and close family members are visited first. The holiday provides opportunity for people to gather, celebrate and exchange 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 of one of the most sacred holidays in Mongolia with nomads out in the steppes while enjoying the last of winter.
(Source: Mongolia magazine. MNET, 2016)