Mongolia Holidays | Seasons and Festivals in Mongolia 2020
There are hundreds of reasons to spend our holidays, you can meet the ancient history of warriors like Genghis Khan and royal dynasties, the beauty of nature and nomadic lifestyle. You can make your holidays plan luxurious and wow without spending too much. Half of the amount you spend in Paris, New York, Bangkok or Spain for an average vacation plan can make your holidays super luxurious and amazing.
Before you plan to spend holidays in their, you need to know a little more about Mongolia so you can plan things accordingly.
Festival Season and Holidays in Mongolia
The Mongolian nation is known for the festive nature and sporty festivals taking place throughout the year. They celebrate culture with full swag so no matter what season you have chosen for holidays in Mongolia, you will surely meet one of these festivals.
Festivals usually revolve around cultural presentations, village gatherings, and mega historic events. They are the best chance to explore diversified cultures within few hours and interact with locals. Here is the small list of festivals which you should accommodate in your holidays plan.
Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian Lunar New Year)
You can call it the Mongolian New Year Festival which is celebrated in the first three days of Mongolian Lunar year. It is often called a White Moon celebration and considered a time to say goodbye to grudges and differences with friends and family. The government gives three days of holidays in Mongolia for Tsagaan Sar. People apologize and meet their old friends and family members over a dinner arranged by the elder person of the family.
They wear traditional dresses and Mongolian cuisine is prepared including rice, curd, mutton, buzz, horse meat, cookies, and other delicious dairy products. People exchange gifts and discussion or demand for depth money is prohibited on this occasion. Family members hold a long silk cloth piece, known as Khadag to show their family bonds and at night they prefer to drink Airag or fermented sour milk.
This festive season is ideal to spend holidays because there are sales at all stores and products, you can come close to locals, there is a lot of movement and celebrations. Throughout your holidays, you can enjoy local dishes at home on locals and come close to their culture.
Khovsgol Ice Festival
Khovsgol Ice Festival is for people daring and thrill loving people. In March when the weather is extremely cold and reaches almost -35°C or even below, Mongolians rather than sitting at home arrange this festival where unique and brave sports are played. Over the frozen lake of Khuvsgol, they play tug-o'-war, wrestling, horse-sled race, ice rally, diving, dog sledding race, etc. They also arrange a sculpture competition where local artists craft ice sculptures.
While enjoying your holidays attend the Khovsgol festival to enjoy ice skating, horse and dog sledding and spend the best time at bonfire spots for extra fun. Around the fire, you can enjoy local drinks, singing and storytelling session, and many other activities. This festival is not recommended for families with small kids due to the harsh winter. It is not a good choice for faint-hearted people as most of the sports and activities are risk-taking plus the weather condition is not ideal for everyone.
But holidays to enjoy this festival is a perfect scenario for sports lovers, and photographer because frozen lakes offer highly epitome light reflections in the afternoon for breathtaking and unique photography.
Gobi Camel Festival
For thousands of years, Gobi inhabitants are celebrating the Camel Festival in Gobi desert to highlight the importance of Bactrian camels in their life. Bactrian Camels are now dying due to poor atmospheric conditions around the globe and for the last fifteen years, this festival is highlighted more to bring attention to this issue.
If you are planning vacations at the start of March you can attend Camel Festival and witness the exciting camel race, polo competition with a crisp of traditional music, dance and free camel rides. During the season the desert sceneries are at the peak of its beauty; red stone cliffs, glacial canyons, and mesmerizing sand dunes and fluffy Bactrian camels wandering in the desert –the scene is unforgettable for most of the visitors.
We recommend Gobi desert Holidays plans to be set during this season to enjoy the festival celebration and desert tour both at a time.
Nauryz or Spring/New Life Festival
By the end of March, on 21st and 22nd Kazakhs and nomads of western Mongolia celebrate Nauryz Festival. It is celebrated on the first day of the spring equinox. The word Nauryz means new life or new day and is known as a symbol of love, happiness, goodness, friendship and community bonding.
People visit each other, exchange gifts play indoor games to foster and inherit a sense of community. Folk concerts, dance, parades, and wrestling competitions are arranged in the west of Mongolia. Plan your vacations during Nauryz to be a part of this colorful festival. Your Holidays can fill with more fun if you take part in folk dance along with locals.
Nadaam is the best and most recommended time to spend Holidays. Throughout it is considered as the biggest festival and all towns, and communities take part in it. Every corner of Mongolia, even the locals' houses are decorated to welcome the summer season.
July 11 to 13 are public holidays as it is national independence time. It is a blend of multiple sports and cultural activities. but mainly it is popular for three sports, Archery, Mongolian Wrestling and Horse Racing. To add more attraction to festivals, cultural dress competitions, cultural dance and singing competitions, theater performances and art shows.
In Ulaanbataar biggest celebrations are arranged where stalls of local products and cuisines’ are set to sell products at low cost for locals and tourists. Holidays during the Nadaam celebration are good for shopping lovers as promotional sales are up on almost all stores.
To avoid the clash with the main Nadaam big celebrations, locals arrange a small Nadaam celebration throughout July and August. So in case you are unable to plan Holidays in exact Nadaam dates you still have a chance to be a part of celebrations.
Golden Eagle Festival
Golden Eagle Festival is the most unique and heartwarming festival of Mongolia which is celebrated every first weekend of October. Now they are also celebrated on the last weekends of September to attract tourists and to add more colors to their land.
It is a centuries’ old festival in which hunters of West Mongolia show off their unique and fearless tricks of hunting golden eagles with berkut. Hunters travel to Altai Mountain present in Bayan-Ulgii province to compete with other hunters. It is a game of speed, agility, focus, and honor.
The eagle hunting techniques are not just ordinary hunting techniques, you can witness the expertise and inherited sharpness of Kazakhs during the game. This festival is a symbol of “unchanged for millennia” of Mongolians. It is a brilliant and second most recommended time to spend holidays.
List of Public Holidays In Mongolia
|1 Jan||Wed||New Year's Day|
|25 Jan to 27 Jan||Sat to Mon||Lunar New Year|
|8 Mar||Sun||International Women's Day|
|1 Jun||Mon||Children's Day|
|11 Jul to 15 Jul||Sat to Wed||Naadam Holiday|
|16 Nov||Mon||Chinggis Khaan's Birthday|
|26 Nov||Thu||Republic Day|
|29 Dec||Tue||Independence Day|