Editors' pick

Mongolian Naadam Festival


Editorial Review

If you can't make it to Ulan Bator for Mongolia's yearly Naadam, the Mongolian Naadam Festival in Arlington might be your next-best option. The event held annually in the Mongolian capital celebrates that country's three main sporting pastimes: Mongolian wrestling, archery and cross-country horse racing. Although the Arlington event is scaled back somewhat (there's no archery competition, and a child's footrace replaces the horse race), the wrestling competition is the main attraction; last year's matches drew nearly 60 wrestlers from as far as New York. The festival isn't always as bilingual as others in the area, so brush up on your conversational Mongolian and bring your appetite for khuushuur, deep-friend pockets of dough stuffed with minced mutton or beef, garlic and onions.

-- Alex Baldinger (June 26, 2009)