Mongolia

Mongolia

Mongolia

Be inspired by the vast landscapes of the Gobi, the snowcapped mountains of Bayan-Ölgi and the dramatic gorges and sparkling lakes of Khövsgöl. Sprinkle in the felt homes of the nomad and the cry of an eagle. Add some Buddhist temples, mysterious ruins, and an abundant wildlife and legendary hospitality, then top it all off with a conqueror who started with nothing and ended up changing history. If this description perpetuates your belief in an untouched country, then you also need the scoop on the new Mongolia. Add to the above internet cafés in Ulaanbaatar, herders chatting on mobile phones, Manhattan-style cocktail bars, eco-yurts and vegetarian cafés. The Humvees plying Peace Ave would probably have Chinggis Khaan turning green with envy.
Mongolia is home to the "three manly sports": wrestling, horse racing, and archery, and these are the same three sporting events that take place every year at the Naadam festival.
Naadam is the National Holiday of Mongolia celebrated between 11-13 July. During these days all of Mongolia watches or listens to the whole event which takes place in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar through Mongolia's National Television and Radio.
It is believed that Naadam celebrations started with the rise of the Great Mongolian Empire as Chinggis (also known as Genghis) Khan's strategy to keep his warriors strictly fit. After the fall of the empire, the contests were held during religious festivals, and since the communist revolution it was celebrated on its anniversary.
The legend says that in old times a woman dressed like a man won a wrestling competition once. That is why open chest and long sleeve wrestling costumes, called "zodog", are meant to show that every participant is male. Wrestlers wear short trunks, "shuudag", and Mongolian boots, "gutal". The yellow stripes on the tails of wrestlers' hats will indicate the number of times the wrestler became a champion in Naadam.