Grand Naadam Festival days. Hotel Naadam festival will enjoy festival colors and tradition: famed wrestlers, horse racers and archery athletes will compete for best titles.
Horse racing: The most impressive spectacle is surely the horse racing. The horses cover different distances according to their
age. Azarga (stallions) 28km, Ikh nas (horses more than 5 years old) 30km, Soyolon (5-year olds) 25km, Khyazaalan (4-year olds) 22km, Shudlen (3-year olds) 20km and Daaga (colts to 2 years old) 15km.
There are no limits on the number of horses participating; usually 200-600 horses in each race. The five winning horses are honored with a cup of mare’s milk (airag) on their neck, a khadag (respectful blue scarf) and a medal.
Wrestling: The 512 wrestlers fight in the stadium, for the prestigious title “State Titan”. Both the “Titan” himself and the trainers, have the opportunity to choose partners during the first few rounds, thus reducing the number of less experienced wrestlers early on and creating more excitement for the final matches at the second day. The rules are very simple: The wrestling area is unrestricted; there are no weight-classes and the one who touches the ground the any part of the body, other than the feet, has lost. The winner continues to the next round. The loser has to stand under the wings of the proud winner. The wrestlers wear tight pants and a small vest with arms across the shoulders, which barely cover their well-trained bodies.
Archery: Mongols are almost born with the archery skills, an integral part of nomad’s lifestyle. From the very childhood such qualities as perfect eyesight, measurement, patience and strength are nourished to develop a good archer. Mongolian bows are very tight ones, so that it requires a pure strength to stretch it out. As a rule, several teams of archers compete. Each team of 5-7 archers should hit 33 leather cylinders from a distance of 75 meters. Hotel ****. (B/L/D)
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