Trip Departure Date:
July 1-13, 2016
Russia by Private Train Onboard The Golden Eagle Trans-Mongolian Express Eastbound featuring the Naadam Festival
A Private, Historical and Cultural Tour from Moscow to Ulaan Baatar with your personal English-speaking guides
The Naadam Festival is the one and only Big Event in Mongolia – a lively national festival, held every year in July. Naadam means “three manly games” and is often referred to as the world’s second-oldest Olympics, it celebrates the definition of civilization in the Steppes eight centuries ago; archery, wrestling and horse riding.
The competitors in the riding events are all children aged between five and twelve, many of whom have been in the saddle since the age of one. As they race along the plains for 20kms, thousands of spectators line the remote track to watch up to 650 children sitting confidently astride their small but sturdy Mongolian steeds. It is claimed that such equestrian skills won Genghis Khan an empire that stretched from the Sea of Japan all the way to Europe.
In recent times, women have been allowed to enter and they now compete in two of the three events, horse racing and archery. Once a religious ceremony, the festival now commemorates the 1921 revolution when Mongolia declared itself a free country.
This is a unique opportunity to be among the few non-Mongolians to experience this spectacular but little known festival and soak up the exciting atmosphere of this national holiday. The journey combines the Naadam Festival with an amazing overland journey from Moscow onboard the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express private train.