Tsagaan Sar or Lunar New Year:
One of the biggest festival was Tsagaan Sar, or “white month”. This was celebrated in January to welcome the new lunar year.
Tribes would collect in huge groups. There would be drinking and eating and singing and dancing.
This was one of the times the small bands of people could see relatives and meet new Mongol people. It was at the Tsagaan Sar that one often met their future husband or wife.
This festival is still happening today.
Naadam Festival or Three Manly Games:
Legend says that this holiday started around 3000 BCE. This is the mid-summer festival of the Mongolian nomads.
It was at this holiday that the three manly games - horse racing, wrestling, and archery - were played in huge competitions.
In the evening, the people would gather around the fire, have a huge meal, and tell tales of great horses, great deeds, and great winners of the Naadam games in the past.
After the festival, and all year long, as people met in their travels, sooner or later talk would roll around to the game play at the last Naadam. And so it continued until the next Naadam, when tales of new heroes were added to old favorites.
This festival is also still happening today.