The Naadam Festival, which is known as the “three games of men”, is an annual event celebrated in Mongolia from July 11 to July 13, commemorating the Mongolian People’s Revolution in 1921. The national festival exhibits marksmanship, horsemanship, and strength through the three games of archery, horseracing, and wrestling.  

Naadam Festival Celebrations | Source: Ch.Batzaya / Wikipedia

These ancient medieval sports have been popular in the military as a way to test the soldiers’ strength and train them for battles as well as their horses’ ability and alertness. Later, the three sporting competitions have been present in religious gatherings such as weddings. The festival was listed on the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010. 

Naadam on Mongolian Banknotes 

Naadam Festival is the most anticipated and most watched festival of the Mongols. The three games of men are also on the 1993 issues of the mongo-denominated Mongolian banknotes. These notes are in a vertical orientation and do not have a security thread and watermark.  

Mongolia 10 Mongo | 1993 ND | Archery | Source: Banknote World

The obverse of the red 10-mongo paper bill displays two archers with bows and arrows. The same sport is also on the reverse of the note. The archery competition is played by teams of ten with each archer given four arrows and the team is given dozens of woven or wooden cylinder “surs” as targets.  

Just like other most Mongolian banknotes, this 10-mongo note also features the national symbol of Mongolia, the Soyombo. 

Mongolia 20 Mongo | 1993 ND | Wrestling | Source: Banknote World

The tan-colored 20-mongo banknote, on the other hand, portrays two wrestlers on both the obverse and reverse sides. In Mongolian wrestling competitions, a wrestler loses to his opponent when any part of his body other than their feet or hands touched the ground.  

Mongolia 50 Mongo | 1993 ND | Horse Racing | Source: Banknote World

Meanwhile, the horseracing sport is on the 50 mongo banknote. This banknote is predominantly blue and green and depicts two men riding on horses on both the front and back designs. The length of Mongolian horse racing events is usually 15-30 kilometers long, depending on the horse’s age class.  

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