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Mongolia Festivals and Events

Religious Mask Dancing in Mongolia

Religious Mask Dancing in Mongolia
The ancient religious mask dancing "TSAM" is one of the significant religious rituals reflecting Buddhist teaching through correct apostolic images and essence. "Tsam" mask dancing is included in the art form called "Digar" depicting independent imagination as one of the 10 kinds of wisdom according to ancient Indian philosophy. It is a theatrical art performed by skilled dancers bearing the external appearance and characters of different apostles and devils, animals or real people. The ceremony requires magnificently ornamented costumes. The "Tsam" dance ceremony was first introduced into Mongolia in the 8th century when the famous Indian Saint Lovon Badamjunai was invited to Mongolia to sanctify the construction of the Tibetan temple Samya. From that time the "Tsam" ceremonious dance following the traditional teaching of Nambdeyan was performed and from 16th century it became popular in Dash-Lhumb temple, Uigien Namjra and other places.

Naadam Festival

Naadam Festival

Gorki-Terel, 11th - 13thJuly, 2000
The Mongols have traditional celebrations the most famous of which is "Naadam".The main events of the Naadam are three manly games, wrestling, horseracing, and archery. The festival takes place at Gorki-Terel, a National Park, that covers 2,864 square kilometres, North-East of Ulaabaatar. The Festival which preserves cultural tradition, organized as a test of courage, strength, daring, horsemanship and marksmanship, all necessary for nomadic people and warriors.

The largest celebration in Ulaanbaatar starts on July 11 and continues for 3 days. Besides the traditional wrestling, archery, dating from the period of the Chingis Khan, is another interesting event in this festival. In accordance with ancient custom, a couple of men will sing a folk song (uuhai) to clear the contestants and then use hand signals to indicate the results of archery contest.

Moreover, horseracing is the favorite sport of the herds who bring their best horses from great distances. Races, which take place on the steppe over distance from 15 to 30 km, are a test of endurance for the horses and riders, boys and girls, some as young as six years old. The races are organized according to the age of the horses. Mare's milk is poured over the heads of the winning horses that are also honored with songs.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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