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Naadam Holiday in Malaysia 2023: Date, History, Facts, Activities

In the 12th century, Mongolians began celebrating to demonstrate their military prowess. Since the 17th century, religious festivals have been accompanied by Naadam tournaments.

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Mongolia celebrates the Naadam Holiday annually from July 11 to July 15. Over the span of five days, Mongolians celebrate their nomadic lifestyle and heritage with fervour. The event commences on Mongolia’s National Day, Revolution Day, which commemorates the nation’s independence from China on July 11, 1921. Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is the official location of the Naadam festival, and permits are required for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as certain other activities such as wrestling. The festivities, also known as “the three games of man,” are centred on three nomad sports: archery, horse racing, and Mongolian grappling.

The background of Naadam Holiday

In the 12th century, Mongolians began celebrating to demonstrate their military prowess. Since the 17th century, religious festivals have been accompanied by Naadam tournaments. Since 1921, they have been performed annually on Revolution Day, the commemoration of the People’s Revolution. The major Naadam festival is celebrated in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, and is preceded by a cultural display of ethnic dancing. All ages, young and elderly, are encouraged to participate in the games.

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Typically, wrestling is the first sport introduced. The main event in professional wrestling is a knockout competition with 512 or 1,024 competitors. According to tradition, the wrestler must enter the arena shirtless because a woman once infiltrated the games and defeated the males. Therefore, all wrestlers must demonstrate their virility prior to the start of the match. Archery is the second discipline on the list. Since the tenure of Genghis Khan, Mongolian archers have been renowned for their skill and precision with the bow. In the games, there are three distinct categories of archery, each with its own bows, arrows, and ranges.

Riding horses is the third discipline. The capacity to ride horses contributed to the Mongols’ dominance over the steppe. Stirrups enabled Mongol horsemen to ride without reins, freeing their hands for combat. The 2010 addition of the Naadam festival to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists demonstrates the festival’s historical significance. Its origins can be traced back to military parades and athletic traditions that accompanied various celebrations, including marriages and religious gatherings. Later, it was used to train soldiers for conflict.

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Observe the festival

The event is gaining popularity among international tourists, with approximately 20% of all tourists migrating to Mongolia in July to watch the games. If you can, join them.

Take a walk.

During the Naadam holidays, this is the best opportunity to travel across Mongolia. Take a stroll through your local park or garden, or attend local events that are typically free and much more intimate, but take place in smaller towns and villages.

Food is the solution!

The traditional Mongolian cuisine offered by the numerous pop-up vendors includes a variety of meat-based dishes. If you are unable to attend, locate recipes and prepare your own food.


On September 17, 2011, 6,002 competitors took part in the Mongolian National Wrestling Match. According to Guinness globe Records, this was the largest wrestling tournament in the globe.

The first-time wrestling champion receives the moniker ‘Arslan’ (lion), the runner-up receives the moniker ‘Zaan’ (elephant), and the ‘Arslan’ who wins the tournament twice in a succession receives the moniker Titan ‘Avarga.’

The Naadam holiday is inaugurated by a ceremony in which nine white banners are borne by nine white-horse soldiers, just as they did in ancient Mongol times.

Mongolian children begin learning to ride horses at a young age, with some as young as two.

During the Naadam holiday, particularly on July 10, when the National Costume Festival is held, it is possible to photograph and meet people dressed in a variety of traditional Mongolian attire.


Year Date Day
2023 July 11 Tuesday
2024 July 11 Thursday
2025 July 11 Friday
2026 July 11 Saturday
2027 July 11 Sunday
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan is a Commerce graduate who loves to write on general and trending topics.

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