Summer Adventure 2011: Mongolian Festivals with Geographic Expeditions
Marvel at colorful pageantry in Mongolia with Geographic Expeditions.
Geographic Expeditions: Festivals of Mongolia: National Naadam Festival and Horse Herders’ Festival
We’ve been under Mongolia’s spell for a long time, dating to the days when it appeared in musty atlases as “Outer Mongolia.” So, it’s with great joy that we introduce people to this magnificent land and two of its most compelling and colorful festivals.
Our July journey is centered around the biggest of Mongolia’s festivals, the boisterous Naadam, which we celebrate in Karakorum, one-time capital of the vast Mongol Empire. On our July-August adventure, we attend The Horse Herders Festival, an extraordinary sporting event that is, in essence, the Mongolian version of a rodeo. During this celebration, local nomads and horsemen are invited to show off their wrangling skills in a series of competitions. Horse racing has always been one of Mongolia’s favorite sports, so any celebration of the Mongolian horse is sure to include a horse race; other events at the festival include demonstrations of horse-wrangling techniques passed down from generation to generation.
On both these journeys, we also explore Mongolia’s cosmopolitan capital, Ulaanbaatar, venture into the heart of the Gobi Desert, look for dinosaur bones, ride the two-humped Bactrian camel, visit the Buddhist monasteries of Gandan and Erdene Zuu, and enjoy an excursion to the sublime Yol Valley of the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains (part of the vast Altai Range).
Festivals of Mongolia: National Naadam Festival: July 4-14; from $4,250.
Festivals of Mongolia: Horse Herders’ Festival: July 24-August 3; from $4,250.