Mongolia's national holiday Naadam kicks off-Xinhua

Mongolia's national holiday Naadam kicks off

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-07-11 19:23:15

ULAN BATOR, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's national holiday Naadam began on Monday with a splendid opening ceremony in the country's capital.

The official holiday, which is celebrated from July 11 to July 15 every year, was canceled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The national holiday Naadam, inherited from our ancestors, is not only a symbol of our country's independence and unity of our people, but also a valuable cultural heritage of mankind," Mongolian President Ukhnaa Khurelsukh said at the opening ceremony.

In addition, Khurelsukh urged his people to make more efforts to ensure economic independence and further promote the development of the country.

Inscribed in UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the festival is also called "Three Manly Games" featuring wrestling, archery and horse-racing.

Only men are allowed to participate in the traditional wrestling tournament of Naadam. Different from the international free wrestling, the mongolian traditional wrestling doesn't take the weight of wrestlers into consideration. A total of 1,024 wrestlers are competing in this year's Naadam.

Unlike wrestling, Mongolian archery is also open to women. A total of 540 archers, including 180 female participants, are competing in the tournament.

Horse racing during Naadam is the most coveted, most watched and most competitive sport. There are no special courses, which makes Mongolian horse racing unique.

Around 1,500 horses of six age categories have been registered in this year's Naadam.

Naadam, which means "games" in the Mongolian language, is also the most widely watched festival for overseas tourists in the Asian country.