Naadam Grassland Festival Celebrates Centuries of Tradition

  • Celebrated: Jul. 15 to Aug. 30
  • Location: Hohhot
The Naadam Grassland Festival is the premier summer event in Inner Mongolia, showcasing the skills and athletic prowess of the Mongol ethnic people.

The grassland festival takes place over six weeks in the summer. In 2013 it is earlier, but sometimes it runs mid-August to the end of September.

Festival History

The festival dates back to the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and may even have been held prior to that, since the first written record wasn’t made until the Yuan reign.

It was Genghis Khan who made wrestling a national sport in Nei Mongol, as the province is known in China, as a way to keep his army strong.

Festival Activities

The word "naadam" means entertainment in the Mongol language; the festival’s full name is Eriyn Gurvan Naadam, which translates as "three manly games", which were horse racing, archery, and wrestling, events that still take place today.

The festival celebrates the end of the harvest season, giving the Mongols a chance to relax and have some fun. Festival activities include traditional folk songs and dancing, as well as exhibitions, trade talks and lots of eating and drinking of traditional Mongolian food and liquors.

The grassland is dotted with yurts that people erect to live in during the festival.

How to Get There

Experiencing Naadam and the Inner Mongolian grasslands is best done with one of our Hohhot tours. Why not combine our 4-Day Gegentala Grassland from Beijing Tour with one of our many Beijing tours?

The festival takes place on the Gegentala grasslands, which is a 2?-hour bus ride from Hohhot train station.

Recommended Festival Tours

Hi, I'm Ruru Zhou
I updated this article on February 28, 2014
See all my travel articles

Questions and Answers About Naadam Grassland Festival Celebrates Centuries of Tradition

Joseph Jiang 2013-04-07
Show Answer
Miss Zhou , regarding my visit to Inner Mongolia... if I visit Inner Mongolia in early August will I still be able to witness any of the Naadam festival activities.Looking forward to your reply.Thanks. Jiang
Dear Joseph, The festival will be held in middle of July this year and it will last about five days, so I think it is difficult for you to experience this event. Lussie Lu replied on 2013-04-07
Joseph Jiang 2013-01-01
Show Answer
Miss Zhou,Hi, I am planning a visit to Inner Mongolia. In addition to seeing the attractions I am also interested in the Naddam.Kindly advise the best time for the trip.Thanks.Jiang
Dear Mr. Jiang, I checked on line, the festival will be held on Jul.11-13 in 2013, so you could visit there during that period. Lussie Lu replied on 2013-01-01
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