Selena Travel

Nomads' Day festival

A cultural revival is proving a big hit with visitors and locals alike: For two days each September 17 to 18, which is symbolized an auspicious day the 17th of the second month of autumn, according to the oriental calendar, the steppes of Mongolia are alive with the Nomads' day festival - cultural eventsound of nomads, in what’s become an extraordinary revival and preservation of Mongolian nomad culture. It is organized by in-bound Mongolian tour operator Selena Travel brings local nomadic groups to the beautiful Gun-Galuut natural reserve in Bayandelger soum (county). In just five years, it has grown from a small local tourist event to widely celebrated cultural festival.Before Gun-Galuut became a nature reserve, the locals only lived on their livestock, milk, cashmere, wool and meat. It was not much for these families, so there was a gradual exodus from the countryside to the nearest towns. Now the reserve and cultural tours- including the Nomads Day festival – are giving the local communities a chance to make an income from tourism.

Another purpose to organize this festival is that in general, tourists come to Mongolia for on average 7 to 10 days. But in that short time they can’t see all aspects of Mongolian lifestyle, festivals, horse racing, archery, wrestling, try Mongolian dishes and sense the culture. Tourists who come to Mongolia in July can see the Naadam Festival, but those come in other seasons can’t. Therefore, Nomad’s day festival is dedicated tourists to show them aspects they are interested in within two days and it is a holiday to inspire the nomads to reinstate traditions and compete with each other too.

You will meet real nomads in their traditional costumes and competing with their incredible heritage on nomadic traditions, witness young nomadic kids showing off their mental ability, see the contest of traditionally dressed beautiful nomadic couples, see a thrilling folk concert of various nomadic groups and will be treated with mouth-watering steppe delicacies and a mini Naadam - Three Manly Games of the Mongols “Archery, Wrestling and Horse Racing”.

Come and enjoy with real nomads and experience the true nomadic culture before it gets changed

It begins with rival families competing to put up and take down a ger (the Mongolian tent dwelling made from canvas, felt and wooden poles), and over the two days kids and adults play games, guys on horseback try to pick the things off the ground at a gallop, and women make rope. Another event is called Smiles of Mongolia, a kind of beauty/talent contest for riding couples, and then there are the Three Manly games of Mongolia.  The evening feature a wonderful folk festival and the festivities conclude with a “Delicacies of Chinggis" gala dinner and bonfire party to enjoy the best of nomadic traditional cuisine enriched with some Western tastes.
There’s even a round called Metropolitan Guys, for tourists to compete in, doing such things as disassembling a ger and making milky tea. They also get to see nomadic life from close quarters. 
Gala concert at Nomads day festival 
According to an organizer they have to cater to two types of tourists. Usually those from the USA and Europe want to taste the adventures that mark nomadic life, while Asian tourists generally want to relax and demand comfort. Below, there are some testimonials from the tourists who was enjoying the festival.
Loren and Lisa Sky horse, saddle makers from Colorado, USA planned to spend a month in Mongolia. Lisa said, "We loved Mongolian clothes, they are so comfortable, beautiful and we can put things in the Ovor, which is similar to a pocket." She was carrying stickers and candies for the kids.

They have enjoyed themselves so much that they were already planning to return next year.
What had they liked most in Mongolia? Loren thought for a while, and said, "In America the culture of ownership prevails. This is different here. Everyone shares the land and shares hospitality, food, and animals. Sharing is such a wonderful thing and in America we don't have this."
We had a wonderful time during the Nomads Day Festival... We were made to feel very welcome. We had the most wonderful holiday that we will never forget... Thank you guys! Ann, Phillip, Sarah and Steve from Australia
The festival was beyond our expectation. We had no idea what to expect, and seeing the gers erected, the kids horse race, the various ceremonies and especially the children’s music and dance performance was worth the trip alone to Mongolia – and we thank you for the experience. David Friedman, USA
The Nomads’ Day festival is an event definitely not to be missed.

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