11 July. 09:00 AM. Drive to the Central Stadium. Today we attend the official opening ceremony of the Naadam Festival
, which includes a traditional cultural presentation of parades, colourful shows, performance in authentic Mongolian style and costumes. Naadam in Mongolian language usually terms as "Eriin Gurvan Naadam", which means "Three Games of Men". In other words men compete in Mongolian traditional wrestling, race their horses and contest in archery. The most interesting event of the Naadam is Traditional Wrestling
, one of the three manly traditional sports with the most number of audiences in Mongolia. Usually 1,024 wrestlers from Mongolian aimags and cities are competing in a tournament that lasts nine rounds. There are no weight restrictions, meaning that wrestlers can easily find themselves matched off against someone many times their size. Wrestlers are classified in a ranking hierarchy: Giant (Avarga), Lion (Arslan), Garuda (Garid), Elephant (Zaan), Hawk (Hartsaga), Falcon (Nachin). The number of rounds won by each wrestler determines rank. The Archery Tournaments
will be held on the Archery Square near the Stadium, around 350 archers from the country attends the festival and competes in men’s, women’s and children categories. Todays tour include a traditional game called Shagain Kharvaa (shooting with knucklebones) or knucklebone/anklebone shooting, which is popular as part of Naadam festival. Anklebones shooting
might seem somewhat similar to bowling, with the object being to knock down more of the ankle bones than your opponent. In 2014 Mongolian National Knucklebone Shooting is registered on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Also you’ll have a guided walk around the Stadium and enjoy the full atmosphere of this festival, colorful customs and lots of photo opportunities. After lunch drive to Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue Complex
, 130ft monument of Genghis Khan, founder and Great Khan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire located on the bank of the Tuul River at Tsonjin Boldog 60km east of Ulaanbaatar. Complex also contains a restaurant, mongolian souvenir shops, museum which has exhibitions relating to the Bronze Age and Xiongnu archaeological cultures in Mongolia. Drive back to Ulaanbaatar.