Mongolians celebrate national holidays and festivals throughout the country. Some special festivals are held in specific places annually. To combine your tour in Mongolia with some of these festivals can make the tour more interesting and you can get more insight into the people’s culture and traditions. Please check schedule of the festivals below and just let us know which one appeals to you.
We will develop an itinerary including the festivals and events (and more!!!), that suits your interests.
Date: 22, March, annually. Where: In Bayan-Ulgii provinceNauriz is a traditional Kazak holiday. From the 21st to 22nd of March, the Muslim people celebrate this day as the holiday of spring. This Kazak feast includes dancing and singing with the melody of traditional musical instrument “dombra”. The tables inside of their colorfully decorated gers are loaded with traditional foods.
Alcoholic drinks are however strictly forbidden.
Date: 6-7 July, 2013. Where: Hatgal village, Khuvsgul province
Tsaatan means “people they herd reindeer”. In the beginning of July, numerous reindeer people arrive near the Khuvsgul Lake with their reindeer from the depth of the Taiga forest to demonstrate their customs and tradition. The festival includes many activities such as reindeer races, folk concerts, a game of reindeer polo and more. Tourists are welcome.
Date: 11-12 July,2013. Where: Through the country
The Naadam Festival is the most important holiday and is celebrated throughout the country. Naadam means “feast of sports”. The sports include wrestling, horse racing and archery. The National Geographic channel even rated it amongst the top 20 destinations to visit in 2011. The State Naadam Festival is celebrated in Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, while every towns and villages celebrate their own.
Date: 8 July,2012. Where: Terelj National Park
Over 20 ethnic groups in Mongolia have their own special traditional clothes to suit their nomadic way of life. Their dress reflects their customs, the seasons, and are used for worship. Mongolians used to wear very many types of clothes depending on the seasons, peoples' rank and ethnics. Precious stone, gold and silver accessories and daily items such as cups, knives, chopsticks, towels, spoons and snuff bottles were an inseparable part of their outfit. These days, the traditional clothes are combined with western influences, making them accessible for wear by anyone. Besides the traditional costumes, this festival offers a taste of different customs including folk concerts. The festival takes place in beautiful national park, Gorkhi Terelj.
Date: 17-18, September. Where: Gun Galuut Nature Reserve
Nomads Day festival offers a nice opportunity to see and experience what nomads do daily such as how to build a ger, how to catch and tame horses, how to cook traditional meals and much more. The local nomads divide into teams and demonstrate the above by way of competition. You can even participate in the competition yourself, as there are even competitions for tourists show off what they have learnt during the festival. In the evening, traditional meals, folk concerts and bon-fires are all part of the fun.
Date: 5-6, October, 2013. Where: Bayan-Ulgii province
Annually, the two-day Eagle Festival is held in Bayan-Ulgii province during the hunting season/October. The best hunters and trained birds are gathered in the majestic Altai mountains to compete on hunting ability, speed, courage, agility and the quality of the eagles’ accessories. The women demonstrate how to make decorative embroideries and cook Kazakh meals. Participants play traditional Kazakh games known as “kekbar”. Two teams compete to pass a goatskin over to their side of the field and the winner throws the skin onto the ger of his choice. The family chosen by him must host the party that evening for everyone. Traditional song and dance of Kazakhs is also featured. This colorful two-day festival is full of interesting events.
Date: 11-12 February, 2013. Where: Through the country
Tsagaan Sar is Mongolian new year. People celebrate Tsagaan Sar as a celebration having passed the winter successfully and in order to welcome the new flourishing season. It is a holiday of respect, of meeting up with one’s each other’s relatives and tightening family bonds. People prefer to wear traditional clothes, show off their tables set with traditional meals in sparkling clean gers(traditional dwelling). The warm family atmosphere is central to this feast. Furthermore, the spectator can enjoy the wrestling competition in the wrestling palace in Ulaanbaatar and horse races held in the open field.
Date: 2-3, March 2013. Where: At Khuvsgul lake, in Khuvsgul province
The Ice Festival is an opportunity to discover the winter in Mongolia, to join in the fun with local herders and nomadic reindeer people and play games. The festival is held at the frozen Lake Khuvsgul amidst the surrounding mountains covered with glittering white snow. Competitions include ice sumo, a horse-drawn sleigh race, ice skating races, tug-of-war between local teams, and a Russian Jeep race on the ice. There you will also see demonstrations of Shaman’s practice, traditional dance and music.