As the festival is held in every village and town around the country sometime between June and August, one has ample opportunity to experience and enjoy the Naadam festival in Mongolia. Where to see Naadam all depends on one’s own availability and preferences of the type of the festivities.
In the capital - Ulaanbaatar, Naadam Festival (so called “National Naadam”) officially starts in the morning of the 11th of July and closes in the evening of the following day. However, ankle-bone shooting and horseracing start 1-2 days earlier than the official Opening Ceremony.
National festival is obviously celebrated in great scope and extended participation. For example, in the National Naadam, 512 is the typical number of wrestlers to compete and this number climbs up to 1024 when the festival is celebrated on the occasion of important anniversaries. Art performances of the Opening Ceremony of the National Naadam are also remarkable as the most famous and talented artists of the country are gathered at one place and perform at wide extension. However although the Naadam of Ulaanbaatar is the only national one with the largest extravaganza and the fanciest performances, it might seem too crowded to experience. Sometimes, festival spectators are not able to watch certain games, held in distanced locations, because of the heavy traffic. Entrance tickets for Opening Ceremony tend to be sold out early, as well.
On the contrary, in towns, the number of participating wrestlers is either 128 or 256 and in villages, the number goes down to 64 or 32. According to the number of wrestlers competing, different titles are able to be given at national, provincial and local Naadams.
On the other hand, despite the number of their participants, provincial and local festivals are more engaging than national one, yet still include everything the national festival embraces. Some local Naadams are held on the anniversaries of their administrative areas; and thus, tourists have wider selection to set up their travel dates when considering of experiencing local Naadam.