Naadam – Humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage

 11-12 July 2023

I visit during July when Mongolia hosts the biggest celebration of the year – Naadam or “three manly games.” Likened to Mongolia’s version of the Olympics, the festival takes place every summer all over Mongolia. Most important sporting events include archery, horse riding and wrestling but rousing games of Ankle Bone Shooting also are played. It is a time of oral traditions and songs (some throat singing), performing arts, national cuisine, craftsmanship, bright colors and traditional clothing honoring the nomadic way of life.

It’s a cacophony of noise and people, like a huge state fair on steroids. UNESCO has recognized Naadam on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.