THE SECOND ANNUAL NOMADS` DAY FESTIVAL IS HELD IN AMAZING GUN-GALUUT
The annual "Nomads Day Festival" was organized in the amazing Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve on 17-18 September 2006. 3 teams of local nomads and 2 teams of tourists took part in the festival as well as many other guests. The Governer Office of Bayandelger Soum, Tuv province, Gun-Galuut community Association, Selena Travel LLC and Steppe Nomads Tourist Camp organized this festival jointly.
Mr. Purevdorj J, Governor of Bayandelger soum, emphasized in his speech that this festival is unique and important as it is a big contribution for preserving and inheriting Mongolian nomadic customs and traditions to the younger generation by showing the culture as it was in the olden days.
As the festival was included in the 800th anniversary of Great Mongol Empire official event calendar, there were many participants and tourists from the previous years. Also media delegates from National Mongolian Television, the biggest daily newspapers and foreign media groups, independent journalists, photographers and travel writers.
On 17 September, 4 different competitions were held among the teams of local nomads and tourists. In the morning, local 3 teams competed with each other in 5 different customs and traditions with their children. In the afternoon 2 teams of tourists competed with each other in Mongolian traditions, they assembled the Ger walls etc. In the evening the guests enjoyed a brilliant performance by the local school children. Then under the starry night skies, everyone took part in the Fire Worshipping Ritual of Mongolian Shamans. (see full program)
The competitions, Mini Naadam and concerts
The first challenge for the nomadic men was loading their camel carts, yak carts and camel back with their traditional dwelling ger in the shortest time and moving for 1 km. They had to show their many traditions of moving on yak cart, camel cart and camel back. The men were really professional to load the ger and lead the transports.
Nomadic women meeting the nomads
The second task was for the ladies. They had to show the beautiful nomadic traditions of meeting the moving nomads on the way and treating them with tea and food. They ladies did all so well and got all the scores.
Competition of Men
A man from each team had to catch an untamed horse by horse catching poles called Uurga and tame the horse without any bridles, saddles and whips within the shortest period of time.
Assembling a Ger
The next challenge for the nomads was "Who's the fastest to assemble a ger?". The three teams were really competitive. The first team got the most scores by completing their ger assembling in 30 minutes as well as starting fire in their stove and made delicious tea immediately.
Children of each team competed with a traditional Mongolian game called "Who's the brightest?" showing their mental capacity. The kids were given some ankle bones and had to guess the sum of total ankle bones in their hands.
Competition among the tourists
The tourists taking part in the festival competed in teams and their task was to detach the walls of Mongolian traditional dwelling Ger in the shortest period of time. The Broncos from Australia won in the competition and was rewarded with beautiful portraits of Mongolian princess and a warrior painted on animal skins.
In the evening of Day 1, children from Bayandelger village performed an excellent concert for the visitors. The visitors were entertained thoroughly by the talented little performers traditional Mongolian dances, songs, musical compositions as well as traditional Mongolian contortionism.
25 beautiful adult horses of 3 provinces competed in the "Shuvuun Saaral" horse racing. The race distance was 16km and the jockeys were aged between 5-11 years of age.
The winners are listed by their success:
1. Black horse of Mr. Samdandobjid - state honoured horse racer, Ulaanbaatar city
2. Chestnut horse of Mr. Sanduijav - state honoured horse racer, Ulaanbaatar city
3. Red horse of Mr. Shatar, Dundgobi province
4. Bay horse of Mr. Zagdaa, Bayandelger village, Tuv province,
5. Bay horse of Mr. Byambadorj, Bayandelger village, Tuv province
The archery competition of the mini Naadam was held in the fields of Steppe Nomads camp on the 2nd day of the festival. Total of 10 archers competed with their marksmanship and Mr. Erdenebayar of Baganuur village won in the male archers competition with 40 points without missing a target, while Ms. Tuya won in the female archers competition with 38 points.
16 mighty wrestlers competed in the wrestling competition of the festival on 18 Sep in the fields of Steppe Nomads camp. Mr. Batchuluun, the highest title holder of Tuv province won in the wrestling competition. Mr. Bayarkhuu, the 2nd highest title holder of Tuv province came 2nd.
Competition of Beautiful Horse Rider Couples
This interesting competition was held on the 2nd day of the festival. The competition was held among the young couples to show the Mongols' beauty, intelligence, knowledge on Mongolian history and culture, wonderful traditional Mongolian costumes and gorgeous horses. The first task was that each couple had to wear traditional clothes of the same colour, use the same beautiful silver saddles and ride horses of the same colour. The guys competed with their skills to show their strength and the girls competed with their skills of embroidery making. The couple of Ugalz team Mr. Ganhulug and Ms. Zolzaya, Bayandelger village won the competition.