While driving across a mountain road trying to navigate our way to Ulaangom in the Uvs province of Mongolia, we turned a corner and suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a village Naadam festival…all the more surprising as we had hardly seen any other vehicles or people on our journey over the last couple of days.
It was a little reminiscent of a scene from Harry Potter during a quidditch match with eagles (instead of owls) circling above the tents with the bright flags and bunting, the crowds watching the wrestling matches and the beautiful horses warming up for the races.
Naadam festivals are held all over Mongolia in summer to celebrate nomadic culture and involves wrestling, archery and horse racing…often over long distances of around 25km with the jockeys being quite young teenagers. It is a real family celebration and we were so lucky to have stumbled upon this one high up on the mountain pass.
Everyone was very friendly and the landrovers proved to be a bit of a draw with a lot of curious visitors coming to have a look round.
Another photos of our surprising Naadam to add to Lees post