The traditional Naadam Festival will take place at the XIII Century Complex, 90 km east of Ulaanbaatar. The impressive site is owned by Genco Tour. Originally, it had been planned that the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the wrestling would take place at the National Sports Stadium; however, the location has been moved due to pandemic. A total of 512 wrestlers are expected to compete in the traditional wrestling competition which gives rankings.
Due to the pandemic, Mongolia’s biggest tourist attraction, the ‘Naadam’ Festival, is expected to be held without foreign audiences. According to statistics, at least 11,000 tourists come to Mongolia every year specifically to watch the Naadam. The Mongolian Government has approved a budget of MNT 3 million for organising Naadam the same as last year. However, at a time when everyone is feeling the economic pressure of the lockdown, the public has been criticising the large amount being spent on the games.
The festival will be held at same time in Ulaanbaatar and the 339 soums of the country’s 21 provinces on 10-13 July. Traditionally, there are ‘little naadams’ in different parts of the country, which occur independently from the national Naadam.
Originating from the Mongolian Empire of Chinggis Khaan, Naadam is a festival of which the nation is proud and a symbol of unity among the nomads. Meaning, ‘the games’, Naadam is celebrated every year across Mongolia and focuses on the three traditional sports of horseracing, wrestling and archery.