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Festivals/Holidays

The following is a list of Festivals/Holidays that occur throughout the calendar year.  If at all possible, make sure you're near a town center during one or more of these...

Shiin Jil - January 1 (though parties occur between mid- December and the first few days of January)

Imagine Christmas & New Years celebrations mixed together in 1 event, and then throw in some fireworks on the evening of December 31st for good measure!  Typically co-workers will gather together for 1 evening in the days leading up to the New Year to celebrate with dinner, drinks, games, and dancing.  Nearly every bar/pub/restaurant in town will be booked for an event - so make plans for eating out accordingly.

Tsagaan Sar - 3 day lunar new year holiday that typically falls in early to mid February

Everyone you know will invite you to a meal at their home.  The traditional food served is called "buuz" - essentially steamed dumplings filled with different kinds of meats.  People of the community will dress in traditional Mongolian wear called "dels", and customs passed down through the generations will be recognized and practiced.  If you find yourself traveling through Arkhangai during this time of year and are fortunate enough to attend one of these house parties, be prepared to eat and drink until your host deems you to be full! 

Naadam - 3 day holiday in mid-July

This holiday is the equivalent of a mid-summer olympic games, Mongolian style.  It consists of what have traditionally been referred to as the "3 manly sports" - Wrestling, Horse Racing, and Archery.  Typically each soum (small town) will host their own games, but never on the same 3 days as the Aimag (province) wide competition.  Winners of the wrestling competition are forever known as community heroes, and the winning children that race the horses bring great recognition to the owners of the horse.  This holiday is most often attended by tourists as it occurs in the warm summer months...so come with a camera and some extra cash, because there will be plenty of things to see and eat.