Similar to the National Naadam Festival, The Danshig Naadam festival will occur from August 6-7th in 2016. This festival is located in Ulaanbaatar, and while it will still hold archery, horse racing and wrestling competitions, it differs from the earlier Naadam festival with its focus on the history and practice of Buddhism in Mongolia. Drawing on the traditional yearly gatherings of the seven Mongol princes of the Khalka province, the Danshig Naadam represents a symbolic demonstration of unity as well as a religious and political event for the Khalka Mongols.
After the People’s Revolution of 1921, the religious elements of this festival were removed and the name was changed from Danshig Naadam to simply ‘Naadam’. The revival of the Danshig Naadam for the first time in 93 years by the administration of Ulaanbaatar city and the Gandantegchinlen Monastery of Mongolia under the auspices of the “Historic, Harmonious and Hospitable” initiative has reintroduced the religious importance of the event by including several performances and events highlighting Buddhism’s influence on the people and culture of Mongolia. Last year’s event was held from August 8th to 9th, commemorating the 380th anniversary of Mongolia’s first Buddhist leader, Holy Zanabazar. Zanabazar was made religious leader in 1639, at the age of five years-old, and an enormous Danshig was held in celebration.