Happy National Day of Mongolia!

Naadam ceremony in Ulaanbaatar. Nadaam is a traditional festival in Mongolia, which is held during the National Holiday from July 11 to 13. *Photo from Wikipedia

July 11 is the day Russia’s Red Army captures Mongolia from the White Army and established the Mongolian People’s Republic.

Genghis Khan was able to unite and conquer the Mongols, forging them into a fighting force which went on to create the largest contiguous empire in world history, the Mongol Empire. After the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty in 1368, the Mongols returned to their earlier patterns of internal strife. Buddhism in Mongolia began with the Yuan emperors conversion to Tibetan Buddhism; however, the Mongols returned to their old shamanist ways after the collapse of their empire and it wasn’t until the 16th and 17th centuries that Buddhism reemerged.
At the end of the 17th century, what is now Mongolia had been incorporated into the area ruled by the Manchu-led Qing dynasty.
During the collapse of the Qing in 1911, Mongolia declared independence but had to struggle until 1921 to firmly establish de facto independence and until 1945 to gain international recognition.

July 11 is also the first day of Naadam, a traditional festival in Mongolia. The festival is also locally termed “eriin gurvan naadam” (“the three games of men”). The games are Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, and archery, and are held throughout the country during midsummer. Women have started participating in the archery and girls in the horse-racing games, but not in Mongolian wrestling. In 2010, Naadam was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.

Mongolia is a landlocked sovereign state in East Asia. Its area is roughly equivalent with the historical territory of Outer Mongolia, and that term is sometimes used to refer to the current state. It is bordered by China to the south and Russia to the north.

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