Wholesalers

Naadam and the Golden Eagle: Two timeless Trans-Mongolian festivals

With the coming of July and the onset of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, Trans-Mongolian destinations are beginning celebrations for the warmer months of the year.

One of these destinations is Mongolia, and the country will be celebrating summer with its annual Naadam Festival, a celebration that – at its core – dates back to the Khan dynasty, beginning with the founder of the Mongol empire, Genghis Khan (1162–1272).

Naadam Festival (July 2019/20)

Naadam Festival Mongolia
Experience Naadam on Sundowners Overland’s Trans Mongolian with Naadam Festival tour.

Running from 11–13 July, Naadam is an annual and traditional Mongolian festival that celebrates archery, horse-riding and wrestling – three sports thought to have been Genghis Khan’s most essential skills for a Mongolian warrior.

Today every district of Mongolia has their own celebrations, with the best athletes being sent to the main showdown in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, where guests on Sundowners Overland’s Trans Mongolian with Naadam Festival will join the crowds.

Although the festival consists of historically male-oriented sports, both men and women compete in archery.
Although the festival consists of historically male-oriented sports, both men and women compete in archery.
Horseriding
Jockeys competing in Naadam’s horse-racing must be between the ages of 6 and 13, with both boys and girls competing alongside one another. Saddles are optional.

Mongolian knuckle-bone shooting is also played during Naadam as an unofficial fourth sport.

The sport is played between teams of six to eight players who flick thirty domino-like marble tablets on a smooth wooden surface towards a target of sheep knuckle-bones, with the aim of knocking the tablets into a target zone, while shooters sing traditional knuckle-bone shooting melodies and songs.

Owing to its value as ‘living human heritage’, knuckle-bone shooting was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2014.

Another event that has been enshrined for its heritage value by UNESCO is the practice of eagle hunting, which your clients can experience during the Golden Eagle Festival in September each year.

Golden Eagle Festival (September–October 2019/20)

Wild Mongolia and Golden Eagle Festival

Another noteworthy festival on the Mongolian calendar is the Golden Eagle Festival – an annual, traditional festival held in Bayan-Ölgii aimag, in western Mongolia – which showcases the falconry and horsemanship skills of the Kazakh eagle hunters.

Experienced during Sundowners Overland’s Wild Mongolia and Golden Eagle Festivalfalconry is becoming increasingly popular with tourists in part due to its depiction in the recent release of BBC’s Human Planet series and the 2016 film The Eagle Huntress. 

Golden Eagle Festival Mongolia
Experience a piece of living human heritage during the Wild Mongolia and Golden Eagle Festival.

With the festival taking part in September and ending in October, Sundowners Overland’s tour of Mongolia puts your clients in the right place at the right time for the festival, while also taking in the Tsenkher Hot Springs, Altai Mountains and Tavan Bogd National Park during a 16-day itinerary.

But what does a competition of archery, horse-riding and wrestling have in common with the Golden Eagle Festival of Mongolia?

The answer is that both of them can be experienced on Sundowners Overland’s tours visiting Mongolia and the Trans-Mongolian Railway.

For more information on Sundowners Overland’s travel options visiting Mongolia, click here.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Road & Rail

London’s Crossrail project faces further delays, as costs increase

by Christian Fleetwood

The opening of a monumental London railway project, which would connect Heathrow Airport and other landmarks, has been pushed back amid mounting costs.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airlines exposed for money-saving ‘fuel tankering’ practice that increases emissions

by Christian Fleetwood

A UK investigation has revealed an unsettling cost-cutting practice at airlines that sees hundreds of kilograms of additional emissions produced per flight.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

“It’s all too unreal to be true”: Sir Richard Branson unveils Virgin Australia, Virgin Voyages partnership

by Christian Fleetwood

Virgin Group’s founder pulled out all the stops at last night’s announcement, and pulled the cork on a few bottles of champers, too.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Berlin bans actors posing as American soldiers at Checkpoint Charlie

by Christian Fleetwood

A group of actors who pose as American GIs at the site of Checkpoint Charlie have been given the boot by authorities after accusations they were heckling tourists.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“We’re responding to what the market is telling us”: Qantas to axe Sydney–Beijing service

by Christian Fleetwood

Flights between Sydney and Beijing are set to become a thing of the past, with Qantas advising it plans to axe the service next year. Click here to see why.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

BUSHFIRES UPDATE: Flights cancelled and Airbnb hosts open their doors

Dozens of flights were cancelled yesterday as firefighters continue to battle catastrophic bushfires across New South Wales and Queensland. 

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean founder, Edwin Stephan, dies age 87

In 1969 Stephan founded the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and his contributions helped create the modern cruise industry we know today.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Passport typo ruins Sydney woman’s first holiday in 20 years

Let this story serve as a reminder to tell your clients to check and DOUBLE check the details on their travel documents.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise wrap: Silversea launches book, Hurtigruten ship named in ice + MORE!

SURPRISE! It’s a cruise wrap from your pals at Travel Weekly! It’s a surprise because we thought it was Friday and almost forgot to put this wrap together.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek Interview with Plaza Premium Lounges’ Stuart Vella

This week, Plaza Premium Lounges’ national general manager took us for a spin on his motorbike and told us all about his two Siamese cats – Seth & Zeke. Then he emailed us the answers to this interview.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Instagrammer slammed for “disrespectful”, “tasteless” Auschwitz shot

by Christian Fleetwood

The blogger has since apologised and taken down the image, which was marked as “tasteless”, “offensive” and “insensitive”, after drawing intense scrutiny on social media.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Two Australian travellers killed in rental car crash in New Zealand

by Christian Fleetwood

Two Australian women have tragically lost their lives in a head-on collision in New Zealand, shortly after arriving in the country.

Share

CommentComments