Festivals of Mongolia - Time to Celebrate!

Whether it is celebrating the summer of celebrating the winter - Mongolians love a festival! And few festivals around the world can compare with the festivals of Mongolia.

Naadam is the best known of the Mongolian festivals, celebrating the anniversary of the People's Revolution in 1921. Originally a sports carnival to test the skills of the Mongol warriors, it is now a summer festival and a time when Mongolians celebrate the brief northern summer. Few festivals in the world compete with the sights, sounds and action of Naadam as children as young as six years race stallions over distances up to 30km; men and women compete in the traditional sport of archery; and men tussle for the title "Invincible Titan" on the wrestling field. National Naadam is 11-12 July each year, although many 'special' Naadams during the summer months.

Tsagaan Sar - White Month - is the Mongolian New year and Mongolians have been celebrating this holiday for thousands of years. During Chinggis Khaan's empire it may have been held in the summer time but now Tsagaan Sar celebrates the end of winter and the start of spring. The last day of the first lunar month of the calender year is called "bituun". The first day of the new year everyone wears a new deel and makes the greeting called "zolgokh" that means younger person is giving a respect to the older generations. Mongolians celebrate the new year over three days full of eating and drinking fermented mare's milk "airag" and "arkhi" - vodka. A Mongolian festival is never complete without the spectacle of traditional wrestling bouts and horse races!

Mongolia's ethnic minorities maintain the pace of Mongolia's festivals with celebrations of their own at different times of the year. The Buriat peoples of Northern Mongolia and southern Siberia celebrate their common heritage with cross-border celebrations during the summer months. The Kazakh peoples of Bayan-Olgii maintain an active calendar of festivals according to the calendar of their Musslim religion

Karakorum Expeditions arranges festival tours on an individual and small group basis - please inquire about our festival program for 2016.

Back to Expeditions