About Mongolia

Geographical location

Mongolia is a land-locked country in the North-East Asia bordering China with 4.673 km in the south and Russian Federation with 3485 km in the north. The total territory of the country is 1.566 million square kilometers making approximately 1 square kilometers per 1.6 persons and 18th largest country in the world. The territory of Mongolia is larger than territories of Great Britain, Germany France & Italy together. Mongolia lacation mapIt is located on average altitude is 1580 meters above the sea level. The largest Mongolian mountain range, the Altai Mountain, is located in the western part of the country. This range of mountains stretches for 1500 km. The highest point in the country, Mount Huiten (4374m above the sea level) is in the Western Altai Mountains the lowest point, Huh nuur (560m) is found in Dornod province. Vast steppe dominated in eastern and southern part of country, the largest one is called Menengiin Tal (250, 00 square km).

Mongolia Location Map


Go top

Administrative and territorial units of Mongolia

Territory of Mongolia divided into 21 provinces in Mongolia and one capital city Ulaanbaatar . Provinces are subdivided into 333 soums (region) and soums are further divided into1664 bags (hamlets). South Gobi province has got the largest territory (165.400square km.) and Huvsgul province has got the largest province population (121.900 people.)






2.8 million


1,566,000 sq km (610,740 sq mi)

Land boundaries:

8,158 km, with Russia 3,485 km and with China 4,673 km

Average altitude:

1,580 m above sea-level


Vast semi-desert and desert plains, mountains in west and south-west, Gobi Desert in south-east


Khalkha Mongols (86%), Kazaks (6%), about a dozen other Mongolian ethnic groups


Mongolian, Kazakh, Russian, Chinese. English is widely spoken in the Ulaanbaatar.


Tibetan Buddhism, Muslim, Christian and Shamanism

Literacy rate:



Average summer temperature +20'C, average winter temperature -26'C, average rainfall 200-220 mm. Winter lasts from November to late April, Spring May through June, Summer from July through to September.

Political system:

Parliamentary republic. President elected for four years. Present President Enkhbayar Nambar, elected in 2005. Prime Minister appointed by State Great Khural for four years. Present Prime Minister Mr. Elbegdorj Tsakhia. was appointed in 2004.


State Great Khural (Parliament), unicameral with 76 members elected for four years. The last election was held on 2 Juny, 2004.

Judicial system:

Mongolian judicial system consists of Constitutional Court , Supreme Court, Aimag and capital city courts, soum and district courts.

State structure:

Mongolia is a unitary state and divided administratively into Aimags (21) and a capital city; Aimags are subdivided into soums; soums into bags; and a capital city into districts; districts into khoroos.

National currency:

Tugrik (MNT), about MNT 1230 = USD 1 in December, 2005

Fiscal year:

January 1 - December 31

Main entry points:

Buyant Ukhaa (airport in Ulaanbaatar ), Sukhbaatar (railway station on Mongolian-Russian border) and Zamyn Uud (railway station on Mongolian-Chinese border)

Sea access:

Tianjin/China (1,344 km) and Nakhodka/Russia (4,037 km)

Public holidays:

December 31- January 1 - New Year 3 days in January/February - Mongolian New Year (Tsagaan Sar), June 1 - Mother and Child day, July 11-13 - National Holiday (Naadam)


Add 8 hours to Greenwich Mean Time

Normal working hours:

09.00-13.00 and 14.00-18.00

Electric current:

220 volts/50 HZ

Weight and measures:

Metric System

Visa arrangements:

Visa shall be issued by Mongolia Embassies and Diplomatic Missions as well as Honorary consuls of Mongolia , or can be obtained at the airport at a cost of US$53 but must be accompanied by an invitation.

Education & Health

Education: Before Revolution in 1921 99% of population did not know script in Mongolia . Before People's Revolution just males were studied religious schools. Females couldn't study any schools. After Revolution all people want to study Mongolian classical Uigur script. It was a biggest develops our culture and education sector. In 1941 Center Committee changed Mongolian classical script into the Russian Cyrillic alphabet since that time all Mongolian people used to Russian Cyrillic alphabet. During the Socialist time Mongolia had not have private school and institutes. Just had State universities such as today's Mongolian National University , and Mongolian University of Education. Socialist time children who has 8 years old they entered elementary school and then they studied 10 years. Since in 2005 high schools are changed world school standard it means children study in high school 11 years. When they graduated high school some students will study abroad. But it was just communist countries. At that time tuition fee was free of charge. After the democratic change some people founded new private school and institutes. The average tuition fee is 350US$. Last a few years' government supporting to developing students and youth. Mongolian half of the population is young people under age of the 35.

Health: Mongolia has a rich heritage of traditional medicine that is directly connected with nomadic way of life Mongolians have been following for many centuries. Herbal medicine, acupuncture, cauterization, massage and bone setting have been popular for many years. The history of modern medicine started in 1925 when the Russian doctor, Shastin, initiated and founded the first ‘People's hospital with 15 beds. During the socialist period, the policy to develop a network of medical organizations with trained staff and required equipment had been successfully implemented. The health sector of the country is represented by Medical schools of all levels; the Center for hygiene and epidemiology; medical research institutes; Mother and Child Care center; Central Clinical hospitals, Medicine supply agency, Pharmaceutical factory, Agency of Quality Assurance Drugs; Bio preparations and Medical Care; aimag and soum center hospitals, and many other medical institutions and agencies. Political and economical changes that are talking place in the country have led to transformation in the structure of the health sector. As a result of those, about 400 new private and state clinics, hospitals and health centers are being opened. Mongolian doctors are can speak Russian very well but most of them can't speak English.

Go top

Festivals and events

Naadam festival-The Mongolian national holiday Naadam is celebrated in Mongolia each year on 11 July. “Eriin gurvan naadam” the three manly games of wrestling, horse racing, and archery- make up the core activities of the National day festivals.

Wrestling – At the start of competition all the wrestlers with the highe r title – holder in front , enter the hall in a line wearing gutuls (decorated Mongolian boots. ) and hats and their wrestling costumes called “zodog”(an open fronted , long sleeves vest of silk) and “shuudag”(tight short trunks ). There are many different titles for the wrestlers such as Titan (avarge), Lion (arslan). Zaan and Falcon. All the names signify strength. Titles are mostly confirmed during the national festival Naadam. A wrestler who wins five fights in succession during one competition has the right to have the title of Falcon, and if he wins seven fights in succession Elephant. When a wrestler wins all the fights in a competition during one of these festivals he will be a Lion. If he wins a subsequent year he merits the title of titan, the highest rank. There is a variety of throws used to defeat opponents. Some say there are hundreds of them. When the wrestling arena or step onto the carpet in the case of an indoor competition and the second take off the wrestler's hats.

When a wrestler touches the ground with any part of his body other than his feet and arms, he is considered to be defeat. The main difference between Mongolian national wrestling and international free style wrestling is that the weight category of wrestlers is not taken into consideration.

Horse racing. Mongolian people have loved horse racing since time i mmemorial. A whole system for conducting the contests has developed over the centuries. In the races held during national festivals, including Naadam, participants are six age groups and the distances range from 15-30kms. No special tracks are prepared, the horses covering the distance in the steppe and jumping over natural barriers. Before they start the riders sing an ancient war-like song –Giingoo. The competitors start at the finishing line and at the signal to start and back to the finish line. Thus the distance is actually doubled. The horse racing can be held on saddled or unsaddled horses. Horses of two years older take part. The winner is honored with a cup of airag which he drinks and sprinkles on the head and croup of his horse. After the races, praise-singer extols the best riders and their horses.

Archery: the third element of the national games is archery. Five lines engraved on an ancient Mongolian target immortalize the phenomenal record of Yesuhei- baat ar, saying that his arrow hit the target at a distance of 536 meters. The bow is an ancient invention going back to the Mesolithic Period. Ancient Mongolians made their contribution to the design of the bow as a combat weapon.

Today Mongolian's use less complicated form archery than in ancient time; the target is ‘wall' made of cork cylinders braided together with leader straps. It is four meters long and 50cm high. The target is placed on the ground at a distance of 75 meters for men and 60 meters for women. In the past Mongolians used three types of bows; “big hand” (165-170cm),”average hand” (160cm), “small hand' (150cm). Today Mongolian's mostly use the average hand bow which requires a force of 22 to 38kg to draw it.

Arrows are usually made from pine wood and had feather fins which help the arrow to reach distance of 900 meters. Naadam archery also attracts individual archers as well as Teams of 8-12 people. Every male archer has forty arrows to shot at each target. The judges dressed in national attire, stand by the targets with hands held up after the arrows have been shot. They praise the best shot in a drawing recitative voice. The contests are accompanied by colorful national rites. Before the competition starts you hear the recitative song “uukhai', calling on the archers to be good marksmen and hit the target.

Go top

Mongol New Year

Mongolia and a number of other Eastern and Central Asian countries have followed the lunar calendar with its 12 year animal cycle since ancient times. The New Year according to the Oriental calendar in Mongolia is called Tsagaan sar which translate white month. There are many options about the origin of this name. One is that Mongols belie ve white symbolizes happiness, purity and abundance of milk products. The date of Tsagaan sar, depending on the phases of the moon, falls anywhere between the end of January and early March. Tsagaan sar is a birthday for all Mongols. Mongol families start preparations for a holiday almost a month a head. First of all there is a tradition to prepare plenty of gifts and food, in other words to have one's hand's full. Also gers, sheds and pens should be cleaned out. Every Mongol family makes hundred of buuzs and bunshes. Mongols like to greet the New Year in everything new. So women sew new dels for the whole family. According to custom Mongols kill a sheep, the fattest in the flock. Then the lower back with the tail is boiled and served on the table for the entire holiday. Tsagaan sar symbolizes wealth and prosperity in the family. The New Year eve in Mongolia is called Bituun – the last dinner of the old year. Beginning at noon family begins to set up the table. There must be several dishes; a dish with the boiled sheep's back tail a dish with ul boov (traditional bread biscuit), a dish with the berees (rice cooked with butter , sugar and raisins) and dish with traditional milk products; aaruul. Byaslag (unsalted cheese), cream, etc. one must eat all the traditional dishes that evening; boiled lamb and beef, huge variety of milk products, buzes and dessert. Some families have the tradition of placing coins inside the banshes. Whoever bites into the bansh with them coins will have good luck. At the end of the evening everyone's stomach is fully satisfied. The following morning everyone rises bright and early according to tradition (about 6-7 o clock). On this morning there are many customs to follow. The first is to greet the sun; everyone watches the sun rise. Second in order to have good health and happiness in the New Year, each individual must take “their first steps of the year”. Everyone takes some steps in a specific direction. The direction is dependent upon what lunar calendar year one was born in. for ex, a person who was born in the mouse year must take the first steps to the north at the first day of the monkey year. The following year the direction will be different. After the fist steps are take, all family members re-enter their home. At this point the traditional Tsagaan sar greetings begin. The oldest family member is greeted first. They are seated at the north side of the ger –the most respected side of the ger. The next oldest family member is the first to greet. This member carries the hadag- a beautiful piece of blue silk – across their arms. A cup filled with milk is placed in the right hand on the silk. This person greets the oldest family member by saying”Sar shinedee saihan shinelj bna uu?” and then gives the silk and milk to them. The younger member has her or his palms facing upward and grasps the older one's elbows. The older member has palms faced down, and the arms are above the younger. While this occurring, the two kiss one other on each cheek. (This kiss, not exactly kiss, is the touching of one's cheeks) On this day ‘all family members show their respect and love through this greeting. After the second oldest member has finished the greeting, the one family member greets the oldest member. Then they continue to greet one another and give gifts. After the greetings, the food is placed on the table and the eating and drinking begins once again. The drinks consist of airag and vodka. The almost favorable drink during this holiday is Mongol milk tea. The woman who is head of the house continually cooks, and serves, cleans all day. Her children help her with all of the work.

At this point, guests begin to arrive and continue to all day long. The greetings continue as well as the gift- giving. The conversation greetings with the guests are a little different. Usually, question is asked about livestock's how they survived through the winter, if they are healthy, etc.

During this period it is expect that all family members visit one another. The greetings should be finished within 15 days then Tsagaan Sar has ended.

Go top

Ger, Mongolian traditional dwelling

Ideally suited to Mongolia's harsh terrain and lifestyle, the ger is called a yourt by many foreigners. But, Mongolians don't particularly like this Russian labeling of their national dwelling ...so call it a ger. A round felt tent covered in durable, waterproof, white canvas seems to be the most simple description of this portable home. White modern and expensive houses are being built in UB, many rural Mongolians have retained their traditional lifestyle, of which the ger is an integral part.

Ancient gers were not collapsible and had to be wheeled from one location to the next sometimes pulled by up to 22 yaks. But nomads need to move across the country in all four seasons. So gers that could be packed onto the back of their livestock were designed and are still used.

The Mongolian ger has to key components: the wooden frame work and the the felt cover, the wooden framework is known as khana, the central support columns as uni, the smoke hole is toono. Eighty – eight separate wooden poles each measuring around 1,5 meters are used for the ger frame, with just to central columns supporting the entire structure. Without its felt and canvas covering the naked frame looks something like an umbrella without its sheath.

Once the framework has been erected it is covered with felt and mounted onto a wooden floor sometimes the ger goes directly on the ground, and then overlaid with felt. The door is always on the southern side facing the sun, providing more light inside windowless home.

Your average ger is divided into three areas. There are male and female sections and khoimor area at the rear of the ger. The male area is on western or left side of the ger. Here are man keeps his bridles, airag and arkhi. Women traditionally have the eastern side of a ger, where they keep kichen utensils, their own and childrens belongings. It is customary for a man entering a ger to step the western side and a women to the east.

The khoimer, which is directly opposite the door, is where valuable objects are stored or displayed, as well as a small Buddhist shine. Most families also keep a collage of photographs of relatives and close friends at the back of the ger. This is the most important part of the ger and guests are often invited to sit at the khoimer. The two central columns are the only things propping up the whole structure and no matter how many people are in ger ( you would be amazed how many can fit in and even sleep in a ger), no one ever leans against either of the support columns. This is considered very bad form.

It's around shape keeps the Ger. resilient to Mongolia 's ferocious win ds, while it felt is rapidly drying material for when it rains or snow melts. In UB and more recently, in towns across the country, people are setting into large, faceless apartment blocks. Ger districts usually occupy poor quality land on the outskirts of town. But in summer, urban Mongolians head to the outskirts where they spend as much time as possible in small wooden houses or gers where they can enjoy the beautiful Mongolian summers away from the uncomfortably hot urban apartments.

Go top

Mongolian brief history

Mongolia's history is extremely long; it spans over 5,000. "The Mongols has little inclination to ally with other nomadic peoples of northern Asia and, until the end of the 12th century, the Mongols were little more than a loose confederation of rival clans, It was in the late 12th century that a 20-year-old Mongol named Temujin emerged and managed to unite most of the Mongol tribes. In 1189 he was given the honorary name of Genghis Khan, meaning 'universal king'. No Mongolian leader before or since has united the Mongolians so effectively."

Manchu controlled Mongolia from the year 1691 to 1911. Thanks to the fall of the Manchu dynasty that controlled stopped. A group of Mongol princes "proclaimed" the living Buddha of Urga to be ruler. "Mongolians have always taken wholeheartedly to Tibetan Buddhism and the links between Mongolia and Tibet are old and deep." In 1921 there were 110,000 lamas or monks in Mongolia living in 700 monasteries. In the 1930s thousands of monks were arrested. Some believed that by the year 1939 3% of Mongolia's population, at the time, was executed or out of 27,000; 17,000 were monks.

In the year 1990 the freedom of religion returned. Since then a revival of Buddhism and other religions has occurred. Mongolia won its independence in 1911. In 1921 the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party government started. "When the last living Buddha died in 1924( "with the rise of Tibetan Buddhism in the 16th century, a living Buddha would be named"), the Mongolian People's Republic was established." It took 22 years for China to recognize this. All subsequent Monolian texts were written in script until Stalin forcibly replaced it with Russian Cyrillic in the 1940s. The text was written in scripts named SECRET HISTORY scripts. Since 1944 the Russian Cyrillic alphabet has been used to write Mongolian.

A new constitution came into force in 1960, and Mongolia was admitted to the United Nations in 1961. Mongolia traditionally supported the Soviet Union. In January 1992 the president of Mongolia, Ponsalmaagiyh Ochirbat institute a new constitution. "In 1993, Birus Yeltsin, Russia's president and Ochirbar signed a new treaty." Also Ochirbat was reelected in 1993.

In the 1980s Mongolia fell in control of Jambyn Batmonkh, a decentralize heartened by the Soviet reforms under Mikhail Gorbachev. "By the late 1980s, relations with China even started to thaw and full diplomatic relations were established in1989. "In March 1990, large pro-democracy protests erupted in the square in front of the parliament building in Ulaan Baatar and hunger strikes were held." Also lots of things happened at a rapid paste around that same month. Some of which are: Batmonkh lost power; new political parties sprang up; and hunger strikes and protests continued. In May Mongolia was awarded from the government to have multiparty election in June 1990. The communists won the elections. In the first half of the year 1996 Mongolia was "beset" by wild fires that raged for more than three months and lost 41,000 sq mi (106,000 sq km) of forest and rangeland. In the year 1997 Ochirbat lost the election because of the economy. In the year 2000 the elections resulted in nearly a total win for the MPRP. In fact the total amount of seats won by the MPRP was 95%.

Go top

Mongolian climate

Mongolia is located in the Northern Hemisphere temperate zone. Situated at an average altitude of 1500 m above the sea level separated from the oceans, surrounded by high mountain chains that are blocking the wet winds, Mongolia has an extreme continental climate. The winter continues long with cold temperature but summer is hot and not so long. Winter lasts from November to late April, Spring May through June. Summer continued from July through to September. The average summer temperature is +20c (+65F) . Winter is –20c (-13F) . The wind is 1.5-4.5m/s. The average rainfall 200-220 mm. In Mongolia there are 250 sunny days a year, often with clear cloudless skies. Therefore Mongolia is known to the world as a country of “ Blue Sky














Temperature C













Temperature F


























Go top

Mongolian flora and fauna


Mongolia travelling information: Mongolian flora and faunaMongolia has a very diverse and distinctive flora and fauna, which represent a mixture of species from the northern taiga of Siberia, the steppe, and the deserts of Central Asia. Many of them are unique to Mongolia and largely unknown to the rest of the world.

Flowering Plants: the largest families flowering plants in Mongolia. There areMongolia travelling information: Mongolian flora and fauna registered 3000 species of flowering plants. 975 species are registered as medicinal plants which are used in folk and traditional medicine of Mongolia and boundary countries, including 200 species which are used in modern medicine.


Mammals in Mongolia : Russian and European researchers started studyin g Mongolian wildlife, especially mammals, in the early 19 th century. The training of Mongolian wildlife researchers started in the early 1950s.In Mongolia exists 138 species mammals. There are 32 species of rare very rare and endemic species of Central Asia, but also Mongolia, 8 species of amphibians and mollusks spread across the vast territory of the country.

Mongolia travelling information: Mongolian flora and faunaMongolian birds and insects: 457 different species of birds belonging to 200 genera, 60 families of 19 orders registered. 81 species birds permanently live during the four seasons, while others migrate.

Insects in Mongolia: entomological research started in 1960's in the Mongolia and for the past 40 years, Russian Polish and other countries scientists have worked on Mongolia . Results of this research, over 12500 species of insects have been recorded in Mongolia , and over 2000 species have been initial discoveries in the world. Mongolia travelling information: Mongolian flora and fauna


Fish of Mongolia: Since in 1954 fish has been exploited in Mongolia. There are 75 species of 43 types, 13 families, 8 groups, 2 classes fishes live in rivers and lakes of Mongolia. There are 33 species of fish for fishing tour and sport fishing in our rivers and lakes. There are also represented 875 funguses; 300species of Microorganisms have been registered in Mongolia.

Go top

Mongolian traditional food

Mongolian traditional foods and beverage:

Dairy products called “tsagaan idee” it is differ greatly about in variety and taste and include milk, which is regarded as symbol of unselfishness, purity and kindness, urum (a thick layer of cream), Mongolian butter, aaruul(dried curd), and a soft of kefir yogurt .


Aaruul: specialist believe that aaruul is one of the factors responsiblefor the Mongol's strong and healthy teeth. Aaruul is curdled milk, dehydrated and thoroughly dried in the air and sun. The remarkable thing is that there is practically no limit to it's slowly life.

Airag: Airag is Mongolian traditional drink. Rural people making summer time in it. 1000-3000 times bit it in cow' skin bag. (leader bag) Mongolian people used to airag in Naadam festival, wedding, New year and others. Some people can drink 2-3 letre one sit. Airag has included 7-8% of alcohol. Soyou will drink a lot of airag maybe you hang over. Airag is Mongolian respect and safely drink so you never to spit and drop it outside. During the Naadam and New year festival who win the wrestling competition people present him one big bowl airag. Also horse racing competition whose horse win people drop the airag horse's croup. Mongolian famous and tasty airags originated from Bulgan. Arkhangai, Ovorkhangai provinces. Airag gives strength and cheerfulness and it destroys pathogenicmicrobes in the intestines and helps improve the living body metabolisms. If you visit Mongolian family or wedding people give you one big bowl airag. Maybe you can't drink it just try sip it. ( airag is soft lime).


Boodog: commonly used in marmot and coat involves removing the bones( and bowels from the skinned carcass through the neck red hot stones are put inside the carcass closed and the neck opening. Then the carcass is barbecued. The meat roasted this way is tender tasty and fragrant. )innards of the animal, whilst leaving the meat bones and skin intact, then placing red hot stones inside the body of the animal to cook the meat sometimes inside the boodog may you make vegetables and some pepper and salt. If you bring hot stones it will be good for relax also health.


Khorhog: Is prepared by cutting up the meat of the sheep and coat and placing it in a container together with hot stones, while heating from the outside. Some people add and fixed many kinds of vegetables also pepper and salt. Khorkhog was a cooking method commonly used by soldiers on military compaign in earlier centuries as the meat of a large animal such as a deer or gazella could thus be cooked in it's own stomach thus eliminating the need for carrying heavy pots or special utensils. Usually man making Boodog and Khorhog.

Tea with milk: Usually used to tea cow, camel and sheep milk. May you visit Mongolian nomadic family first they served you tea with milk. The Mongolians drink tea with milk with a salt. Sometimes the tea is cooked with rise, dumplings and flour. It preparing is easy first water and add brick tea salt then milk and boiled it is ready. Some Mongolian ethnic groups drink tea without salt. Usually Mongolian old people drink tea about 1-3 l a day. Also Mongolian people follow the traditional medicine. For example if I grip or cold make a 7 dumplings tea with milk. After you will be ok.

Vodka White: vodka shimiin arhi Mongols have made vodka for many centuries since the first Mongol people, hunnus. Making vodka is a complex process and requires a lot of skill and the right materials. The process of making vodka has been passed down through many generations, from farther to son, and mother to daughter. In the paragraphs below I will attempt to describe the process of making Vodka. First you need a few important materials; to bowls, (one large and one is slightly smaller bowl ), a cylinder or bottomless barrel (the cylinder should fit snugly around the large bowl), a bucked, and of course a good fire. Another critical material is cow's milk. Once cows have been milked, the milk must be churned. The milk is must be changed into butter milk or yogurt. Next a fire is made then the large bowl is placed over the fire and the yogurt is poured into the bowl immediately, the bottomless barrel is put over the large bowl and the smaller bowl is placed on top of the barrel. The smaller bowl is then filled with water. However the barrel is not empty. Inside the barrel is a bucket that hangs between the two bowls. This bucket is very important because it catches the newly made vodka. Now the prepare must wait; the yogurt is boiled. As the steam from the yogurt rises it hits the bowl of cold water. As this point the steam condenses back into liquid. The liquid slowly drips into the hanging bucket, as time passes the bowl of cold water will get warm, so the preparer must change the water but “be careful of the steam”. Once the process is completed, the arkhi is poured out and thrown into the fire. This is considered an offering to the god fire. If the arkhi makes a flash (blue flame)than the arkhi is good. Arkhi just made in the countryside of Mongolia . But people who live in the city can enjoy the arkhi because their families in the countryside often send them some.


Borts dried meat: the Mongolian nomadic way of life and the countries climatic conditions has give rise to specific methods of preserving meat. The most widespread one is air –drying or bortsloh. Beef is cut into long strips which are hung in the shade. The meat dries very quickly, becoming so hard that you can not cut it with the knife. Before using the dried meat it is powdered and the put into boiling water. In a minute you have a nourishing broth.


Go top

Mongolian toys and games

Mongolian traditional games can be divided into 2 general types on the basis of their general form; games which are played using simple and readily-available materials such s stones sticks, or animal bones and games which are played using objects created by the artistic means; namely with painted or carved pieces. The games of the one category are characterized by a close figurative connection with nature and the herding lifestyle, often having a ritual of symbolic element to their playing & by a relative simplicity of their rules of play. The games of the latter category- which include cards, chess dominoes and interlocking puzzles –are symbolically associated with social and artistic activities and are usually more sophisticated requiring greater intellectual skill in their playing. Of the games played with really and natural materials, the simplest is “ail ger” (family home). The game is played with stones, much in the same way as children in western countries play “house” with dolls a small circle of stone is set up to represent a ger; further stones are placed inside it to represent furniture and house hold objects and stones of different shapes and colors are collected outside the home to represent the families herds. The most unique Mongolian game is shagai or anklebones, which as the name suggests, is played using the cleaned and polished anklebones of sheep. Each of the four sides of the anklebone represents a different animal; horse, sheep, camel, goat, although there are many games which can be played with the bones. In earlier times, families which managed to collect more anklebones than they needed would select an auspicious day and go to play the game of “multicolored turtle” on the top of a mountain leaving the bones afterwards as an offering to the mountain or to the sky. This game is played with a number of bones corresponding to one of the auspicious number in the Buddhist faith- most often 81 or 108. the placement of the bones represents the five elements and colors in addition to the body of the turtle itself, which is viewed in traditional Mongolian iconography as the symbol of the cosmos players take bones from different parts of the turtle or surrounding five elements on each turn corresponding to the throw of a die. Once the players have collected all the parts of the turtle's body the game concludes with the player in possession of the most bones the winner. One of the comm on games played with shagai is the “horse race” for 2 or more players. Games played using carved or painted pieces include cards, chess, dominoes and khorol (a game similar to dominoes, using the 12 animals of the zodiac and Buddhist symbols). Of these games chess remains one of the most popular as well as one of the oldest traditional games some Mongolian scholars claim that chess sets characteristically depict nobles, horses, camels, oxcarts and other identifiable elements of Mongolian life. Mongolian chess is more similar to the European than the Chinese version of the game, but there are several important differences in the rules for example: only the pawn in front of the Queen is only permitted to move one space at a time when moving diagonal

Go top

Mongolian traditional clothes

Hats: One of the most colorful and original items of Mongolian national dress is the traditional head wear. The Mongolian head dresses differed in shape and purpose; there were hats for the young and old, summer and winter & men & women, holidays an d ceremonies & fashionable and everyday hats. Their fashion and trimmings & colors were amazing varied depending on the sex of the person wearing it his or her social position or to who's tribe or nationality they belonged. There are 400 different styles. For ex; the cone shaped top of the hat (blue or red) had 32 stitching symbolizing the unification of 32 Mongolian tribes. The middle ages women & men wore summer hats made of plush wet velvet upturned brim &brocaded pointed tops. The hat was crowed with a fanciful knot. In ancient times it symbolized power capable of frightening enemies. In summer Mongols wore either the hat or flat topped “toortsog” hat consisting of six gores. The toortsog had an upper and a lower part. The upper part was not one piece but was sewn from six separate pieces. Married women were not permitted to wear this hat only girls & men. Women's holiday headwear was noted for it is original style and richness of adornment. It consisted of a holiday silk and velvet hat and a complete decorative set for the hair the lower part of the hat was made from velvet and the upper part from red silk. The hair holder was covered with coral, pearl, and mother pearl. The Shanaavch the temporal adornment with little silver bells was fixed to the hair holder. The tolgoin boolt was a headdress usually made of silver and studded with a precious stone and semiprecious stones. Women's hats were more fashionable than men's, and the ribbons on them were decorated with turquoise.

Del: The Del is loose calf-length tunic made of one piece of material. It has long sleeves, a high collar and buttons on the right shoulder. The Del buttons. If they are not commercially produced from decorative stones or silver, are narrow strips of cloth tied into intricate knots. Each ethnic group living in Mongolia has its own individual Del , distinguished by its cut, color and trimming. These distinctions go unnoticed by foreigners but are obvious to Mongolians. Before Revolution, all social strata in Mongolia had their own manner of dressing. Live stock breeders for instance, wore yellow dels with a cape thrown over it. There are basically three types of dels, each worn during a particular season. The “Dan Del” is made of light, thinks bright materials and is worn by women during the late spring and summer. The “terleg” is a slightly more padded version and both men and women. The winter Del is serious, padded tunic lined with sheep skin, or layers of row cotton. Dels have the same cut whether worn by men or women. Male dels are just wider and in more somber colors. The Del for everyday wear is gray, brown or some other dark color, white the holiday Del is a bright blue, green or claret silk with a silk sash of contrasting color several meters long. The sash is not simply adornment. It also serves as a soft corset facilitating long riders on horse back. A Del has wide, cup-shaped sleeves nicknamed “hooves”. There is a legend that the Manchu's introduced this style to make the Mongols the same as their horses. But it is a highly useful feature of the Del protecting the hands from the cold and from injures while doing hard work. Also shape is same golden and silver ingots. The khantaaz is a shorter traditional jacket, often made of silk, which is also buttoned to the side, and usually worn over the Del.

Boots: The toes of boots are upturned, and several explanations have been offered for this unconventional style. If boots had upturned toes pre 1578 when Buddhism introduced to Mongolia , then this would be an example of religion using indigenous customs, beliefs etc. to support advance their own religion. Another explanation is that the upturned tip prevents a rider's feet from slipping out of the stirrups. However it's also true that boots are so thick and rigid that if they were flat, they would be almost impossible to walk in. these hefty boots are still worn in UB and are particularly popular in countryside. The boots are tall boots made from thick unbending leather “buligar” and the tops are decorated with leather appliqués. The right and left boots are the same shape. They do not have laces or zippers, making them easy and quick to slip on or off in a hurry. And they can be worn in all sessions with thick felt socks added in winter and removed in summer.

Go top

Nomad lifestyle

Mongolia is one of the nomad countries in the world. Since the Hunnu Empire Mongolians raising their five domestic animals (it is including sheep, horse, cow, camel, and goat) in the broad region of forest, steppe and Gobi desert. Especially they respect their horses. Mongolians see their horse is their best friend. Mongolian nomadic people move into place to place 2-4 times a year as well as it is depending on livestock's pasture. Mongolian nomad people always following their livestock. Because livestock knows where is the best pasture? Herders live in Mongolian traditional dwelling (covered felt) Ger.

Mongolian five animals. Mongolia is the land of livestock. Now in Mongolia has over 30 million livestock, including 13, 8 million sheep, 10, 2 million goats, 3, 1 million cattle, 2, 6 million horses and 322, 3 thousand Bactrian camels.

On these give animals depends the prosperity of the country. All flocks of sheep include goats, only shepherds can really explain why. The sheep provides meat, wool and leather, nowadays its milk little taken. The goat provides milk and company for the sheep, its fresh is seldom eaten.

The cow is eaten and milked, and its hide provides leather often the yak is used instead of the cow, or else together with cattle. The she- yak's milk is fatter. The yak seems more active than the cow, and as one approaches a mixed herd, the yak's – hairy as terriers – are always the first to run off, lofting their- feathery tails like pennons. Also there is hainag, a yak cow hybrid. (The reverse hybrid, from a Mongolian bull with a female yak, is possible, but not used.)The male hainag is strong, stronger than either parent. It is burly beast with hair longer than its mother's and shorter than its father's. The female produces more milk than the female of either parental stock. But its calf, the ortom, is a weakling, and breeding is not taken other. The horse is kept as a mount and for milk. Mares must be in foal a great part of the year. Several times in journey you will come across twenty or thirty horses crowded, n oses together close to Ger They are waiting their turn for milking. Mongols say they milk better if you let the foal start them.

The means of transport is the camel. His wool warm to the rider, is taken also. But he is not eaten, nor his female milked, save perhaps on the edge of the desert where no other livestock viable. Camels are formidable. The males, when their minds are on mating, foam at the mouth and fight. Camel herds are usually smaller than those of other animals. Camels and coats are shorn but once a year. Sheep sometimes twice. A Mongolian sheep gives three or four pounds of wool a year.

Go top

Political system

In 1989 when communism was starting to fall elsewhere, many Mongolian weren't really ready for the change. Some a group of young professors and activists formed Mongolian democratic Union. In 1990 March they organized hanger strike in Sukhbaatar Square . The hunger strike forced resignation of the MPRP when the party agreed to meet the demands of the strikers. In the election of July 1990 the MPRP received 60 % of the vote but the party had agreed to a major reformation of government resulting in a democratic revolution and a market economy. So In 1991 Mongolia has moved into democratic system, it means multiple party systems.

State Hural was adopted the new constitution in January 1992. The State Hural is the highest legislative body. Mongolian State Hural has one chamber with 76 members. The executive organization is the President and Government in Mongolia

In October 1992, the Mongolian Democratic Union became a political party along with a number of new parties that banded together to endorse P. Ochirbat for president. He won the presidential election in an overwhelming victory.

The 1996 election represented an important change in Mongolia , as democratic forces attained government power for the first time. In 1997, the presidential election took place, and MPRP member Natsagiin Bagabandi became President. Thus, the parliamentary majority was balanced by the President, nominated from the minority party. In July 2000, a national election brought the MPRP back into power when it gained 72 seats in Parliament and formed the Government (Prime Minister and Cabinet) without any opposition. Following the election, the opposition parties, which had divided into separate parties before the election, began taking steps to reunite into one large opposition party once again. In May 2001, President Bagabandi was reelected, affirming a government and presidency of MPRP members.

In 2004 Mongolia has Parliamentary election and voted new Parliamentary members. Mongolia has 13 ministers. In 2005 Nambariin Enkhbayar won the Presidential election.

There are three kinds of election in Mongolia .

1. Parliamentary election: The State hural is the highest organ of state power and legislative body. Hural elected by citizens of Mongolia entitled to vote. Citizens of Mongolia who has reached suffrage age of 18 years. The Sessions take place every 6 months Mongolia has named “autumn, spring”

2. Presidential election: Mongolian President is symbol of head embodiment of the unity of the people. An indigenous citizen of Mongolia who has attained the age of 45 years and permanently resided as a minimum for the last 5 years in the native land. The president of Mongolia for a term of 4 years. Hural announces the date of election at least 75 days before the day of election. President election conducted in two stages. Political parties that have seats in the parliament nominate their candidates one candidate per party or coalition of party .at the primary stage citizens of Mongolia eligible to vote it means those who reached 18 years old and staying in their country on the day of voting Mongolian president just elected 2 times and term 4 years. A candidate who wins the presidential election takes an catch of the President 30 days after the presidential election swear that he/ she will guard and defend the independence and sovereignty of Mongolia , Freedom of the people and National unity follow the Constitution and faithfully perform duties of the President of Mongolia.

3. Representative election / citizen: This election is elected province, city bag, horoo, districts by their respective governors. Candidates for governors are nominated by the Hural of respective aimags the capital city soums, districts, bags, and horoos. Governors of provinces and the capital city are appointed by the prime minister, soum and city district by their governors / province, city./ governors of bags and horoos by soum and district governors respectively for term of 4 years.

Go top

Post & Communication

The history of Mongolian communication started 13 th century. The Genghis khans developed the postal service. Mongolian modern telecommunication history started in 1898 when the first telephone communication line was laid to connect Khyahta with Daa Khuree (present Ulaanbaatar ) .The first 60-line telephone network was installed in the capital city in 1914.

100.000 lines, 100 telephone stations and 200 radio stations compile the communication network today. After privatization Mongolian Telecommunication Company started installing new technological equipment with Korean investment that strives to modernize international communication systems in the country. The international code for Mongolia is 976, and the city code for Ulaanbaatar is 11. International telephone cards for local and international calls are available at the post office. Internet and email service is available in Mongolia . In Ulaanbaatar and provincial centers you can use GSM mobile and Skytel mobile, but you used GSM system you will need to connect with Mongolian Mobicom Corporation and buy new SIM card unless your own SIM is international. From every central town of Province and small part of province you can make phone calls to your home using the sub part of the province.

Internet cafes are easy to find in Ulaanbaatar and cost about 0.5 cent per hour. The internet cards are widely available in the up- market hotels, electronics shops, markets, ISP offices and mobile phone company offices.

Mass media. One of the important achievements of the Mongolia democracy is free press and freedom of word. Socialist time Mongolia had a few kinds of newspaper and one TV channel and one Radio. But nowadays Mongolia has more than 500 kinds of newspaper and around 120 magazines are being published. People are getting information from several state and private television transmissions. MN, Channel-25. TV-9, Eagle TV, UBS and several other cable TV stations are a few examples. Mongolian radio continues its traditional transmissions English Japanese, Chinese and Russian.

Go top

Religion in Mongolia

Yellow headed Buddhism began to enter into Mongolia from Tibet the second half of the 16 th century. Since that time mostly Mongolians believe Buddhism. But Mongolian Bu ddhism is different from Tibetan Buddhism. Mongolian Buddhism connected with Mongolian traditional lifestyle. Before in 1930 40% of male population was lamas (monks). Between the communist purges 1930-1940 Russian and Mongolian soldiers destroyed about 700 monasteries and temples. Until in 1990 any religion closed in Mongolia. After democratic movement in 1990 all religion reopened. In 2002, there are about 180 religious temples and churches operating in Mongolia and more than 110 Buddhist monasteries and temples and about 70 Christian churches in Mongolia .

Buddhism: Buddhism in the form of the yellow hat Buddhism or Lamaism making further inroads into Mongolia from the second half of the 16 th century. According to the Mongolia Buddhist doctrine, it is said that the sky father blessed all of the world and that there is one who could say, I am a owner of the world' Buddhism teaches the ‘nature of reason' and that if good deeds are done, they will have good results. Similarly if bad deeds are done, they will have bad results. Buddhism preaches about these as ‘ten black deed sins' and ‘ten white deeds'. Sins are divided into deeds which are made with the body with speech or with the mind through thoughts. Sins made with thoughts include thinking about bad things having evil thoughts, corruption, intentionally or purposely doing a crime, planning aggressive war, and so forth.

It is said that Buddhism believes that thought is thing prior to both body and speech. They consider evil thoughts the result of numerous sufferings and unavoidable accidents and misfortune. The term used for such negative feelings is Nirvanas (greed, anger, opposed, ideology). Buddhism argues that if we can systematically remove these strong desires or greed from the mind we can become wholly enlightened people. With enlightenment, thoughts will become pure and clean and reach to the height of bliss.

Buddhism also teaches that if the people show their mercy in letting an animal live, they will gain merit in their future lives.

Go top

Traditional music & songs

Odes to nature, horses and the open steppe are popular themes of traditional Mongolian music. Long songs, as the name suggest have lasted a long time and are loved by Mongolians. The original long time and written about 800 years ago and there are special songs for weddings, festivals and religious ceremonies. Traditional Mongolian instruments include string and wind instruments, drums and gongs. Mongolians have made their music instruments through the ages using metal, stone, bamboo, leather and wood.

The most popular instruments is the “Morin khuur” –Morin Khuur ( horse headed fiddle ). It is a square fiddle with the long, straight handle curved at the tip and topped with the carving of a horse's head. It is said to represent the movement and sounds of a horse. Every Mongolian family strives to have a morin khuur in their ger even though they are hand-made and fairly expensive instruments. In the beginning it was simply a ladle for airag on which strings were strung. At that time the instruments was called “shanagan khuur” (shanaga is ladle or dipper). Later the sounds and board took the form of a trapeze and the master carvers who made these popular instruments began to decorate them with whimsical figures. Then the head of horse, an animal greatly loved by all Mongolians, appeared on the neck, and the name was changed to morin khuur. Twelve animals are carved on the neck in accordance with twelve years cycle of the lunar calendar. The morin khuur has two strings and bow made from the hair of horse's tail. At the top of the morin huur's neck is a horse's head, but here too, there are 5 other animals –horse, camel, cow, sheep and goat, Mongolian symbols of wealth and plenty. The morin huur is most suitable to accompany the traditional long and short songs and Mongolian classical dance bielgee. Last year our president declared ‘Morin huur is our state instrument” so government founded Horse headed fiddle orchestra. In 13 th century Mongolia had those kinds of famous orchestra. Usually Mongolians use the horse headed fiddle; Naadam, white Month, wedding and other big ceremony.

Legend about Morin khuur, national instrument

It has ancient origins and is purely Mongolian musical instrument.

Once upon time there was a poor man. He had a wonderful steed. The horse was a special one; it was faster than bird and could instantaneously cover great distances. But one day he found his horse dead near his ger. So his heartbroken, he began to make a fiddle from his horse's bones, tendons and hair. Then he fixed the horse's head to the handle and overcome with grief, lay his own head on it to unite himself spiritually to his dead friend. So he started to playing the Morin huur describing his beloved steed's steps, gallop, hurdle, trotting, and neighing. Thus goes the ancient legend of the illians about the origin of the morin huur.

Long song: This song is suitable to nomadic life and unlimited steppe. Long song is oldest form of melody. The singer who must vocalize as long as possible while modulating the vowels. This type of song, often melancholic, recalls the solitude of the nomad and the immensity of the steppe.

Short song: A more recent form , is quick and lively , often humorous in character. It is themes are love, the home country, horses, and women. Technically less trying than the long song, it is still very much part of everyday Mongol life.

Ode (Magtaal): Is another form of song that continued to play an important role in Mongol life? It is a poetic praise, an epic-like hymn with its origins in shamastic poetry. Dedicated to the scared mountains to a powerful wrestler, or to a victories horse, it is performed at all the important events of nomadic life. No naadam worthy of it s name would be without a magtaal.

Epic songs: Their must remarkable epics are those of Geser and Jangar which are transmitted by bards in a sung versified form sometimes accompanied by a morin huur, tovshuur, and by khoomii throat song.

Diphonic song (over tone singing )Khoomii: Is the most spectacular and probably the oldest form. Known as khoomii in Mongolian, it's a vocal technique by which a single performer can produce two or even three separate lines simultaneously. the notes are continued and low made by forcing air through a constricted throat and a series of harmonies made by the tongue which, rolled under the palate, guages the breath, producing sounds remarkable similar to those of a flute. The vocal imitation of the flute and the Jew's harp was traditionally the exclusive province of men. Khoomii is linked to shamanism and is characterizes by the production of sounds imitating those of nature; the soft noise of the wind cascades and rivers and birds songs are just a few. National dance: Our classical traditional dance is bielgee, is a particular to the people western Mongolia . It is performed to the music of Mongolian national musical instruments, such as the morin khuur (horse headed fiddle) and yochin. Is performed in a ger in circle of people, in other, in other words, in limited small space, before the hearth, so the dancers make partially no use of their rhythmic movements express various aspects of their identities, such as sex, tribe, and ethnic group. Plastic movements of the dancer‘s hands and horse express everything in the dance.

Beilgee is a descriptive dance, actually a pantomime, with the dancer acting several scenes from everyday life of herders, such as milking the cow, cooking, hunting, etc.

The first part of Bielgee dance, called the Elkhendeg, is ritually solemn, with the dancer slowly spreading his arms, gracefully waving his hands and moving his shoulders. In the second part called the joroo mori, character of the dance suddenly changes. The body rhythmically swaying, the dancer's movements become light and challenging, in imitation of the gait of a horse.

Go top

Visual Arts of Mongolia


Cinema, the miracle of the 20th century, came to Mongolia in 1910s. First movies were shown in the capital city, at the American Consulate and Russian Stock Exchange's hotel. In 1913 Mongolian prince Namnansuren is known to have brought some films from Russia to show at the residence of the Bogd Khan. After the revolution of 1921, equipment and movies have been purchased and students trained in Russia . Thus people have acquired access to cinema. At that time, cinema in Mongolia was called "Shadow show", and it was free of charge, until the first cinema theatre "Ard" was built in 1930s. In 1935, under the decision of the Council of Ministers, a movie production company "Mongol kino" was set up with Soviet assistance. The first production of the company was a documentary "74th Celebration of 1st May". In 1936, the first feature movie created with the technical assistance of the Soviet "Lenfilm".

Mongolia 's first movie directors, cameramen, editors and other personnel were trained on the job by professionals from the Soviet Union . And in 1938 Mongolians were able to make independently "Norjmaa's way", and "Wolves" in 1939. Movies directed by the famous Mongolian film director D.Jigjid, such as "Tsogt taij" (1945), "People's messenger" (1959), "Flood", "Son-in-law" and others have became classics of Mongolian cinema. Film directors of younger generation, such as H.Damdin, Ts.Navaan, Ch.Gombo, B.Baljinnyam, B.Sumhuu and O.Urtnasan have made their unique contribution to further development of Mongolian cinema. The 1990s have became a turning point in the history of Mongolian cinema. Around 20 private film studios that have emerged between 1992 and 1997, produced more than 100 feature movies. Foreign relations with films companies have expanded as well. Joint productions of both documentary and feature films with French, Japanese, Chinese and Mongolian film producers have successfully participated in various international film festivals.


Fine arts of Mongolia are famous for its incredible paintings. Cave paintings aged 3-8 thousand years and found in the Khoid Tsenkher cave, Munkhan somon of Khovd aimag, are considered the first works of art discovered in the territory of Mongolia . The history of art and architecture of the Mongolian Empire begins in the 12th century and at later times was influenced by other nations. The capital city of the Mongol Dynasty, Khar Khorum, was a magnificent proof of the glory and majesty of the Mongolian Empire. With the development of religious arts and architecture, in 16 to early 20th century, design of buildings acquired features of Buddhist temples. Many monasteries were built during this time. Works, that represents today's classical painting techniques, are U.Yadamsuren's "The Old Horse-fiddler", A.Senghetsokhio's "The Mongol Lady", B.Avarzed's "Uurgach" and Ts.Minjuur's "Caravan Guide".


A new social system which was founded upon the victory of Revolution in 1921 was focused on art works. Therefore art works of that time were dedicated to publicity of he new system. Since then Mongolian artists became acquainted with European paintings and began using both Mongolian and European drawing methods. In order to develop Mongolian art systematically specialised artists were prepared and there were established specialised agencies in Mongolia . In 1950s many genres of fine art, carpet and porcelain production were introduced and developed. During this period many artists and architects became very famous for their single thematic works, namely, painter O. Tsevegjav-animals, U.Yadamsuren-workers, N.Tsultem and G.Odon-history and everyday life, L.Gavaa-nature and an architect S.Choimbol-monuments etc. In 1960s there was a great change in the tradition of art-refusing to use linear perspectives, harmonisation of colours and colour endowments in every respect and began to use other techniques of painting as well as themes and contents of art were expanded. Famous art works which represent today's painting techniques are: U.Yadamsuren "The Old Horse-fiddler" , A.Senghetsokhio "The Mongol Lady", B.Avarzed "Uurgach" , Ts.Minjuur "Caravan guide"

Famous artists of 1970-1980 are D.Amgalan who mastered xylography, M.Butemj, Ya.Urjnee, G.Soosoi, M.Chuvaamid who mastered monumental arts, S.Dondog, B.Chogsom, M.Tsembeldorj and D.Munkhuu etc. On beginning democracy in Mongolia since 1990 there has been a change in the social life and in the sector of arts and culture. As Mongolia expands its foreign relations, artists and architects of Mongolia are provided with possibilities of studying and creating abstract and impressionist arts which were unfamiliar to Mongols.


Mongolian painting began to develop more than two thousand years ago from simple rock drawings. Uighur paintings of the 8th century prove that this art was flourishing in Mongolia and Asia long ago. Buddhism was the main theme of the painting. and it developed into a fine art form. B. Sharav is the painter who linked the old with the new in his art. The Mongolian way of life was depicted in his famous work "One Day in Mongolia " and various portraits. The traditional painting was influenced by European art. The Mongolian painters L. Gavaa, O. Tsevegjav and Ts. Dorjpalam are famous not only at home, but also abroad. They made a great contribution to the creation of new art based in tradition and trained several generations of painters. At present, new and different artistic trends are emerging, and creative young artists are developing the national art.


Deer carvings in rock constitute the historical monuments of anci ent times. Thousands of these rocks are evidence of the development and wealth of sculpture in ancient Mongolia . Undur Gegeen Zanabazar, a prominent religious figure and famous sculptor of the 17th century, created 21 tare (consorts of Buddha), which show the beauty of Mongolian woman. Zanabazar laid the foundation for the depiction and praise of the human form in Mongolian sculpture. Now there are many famous sculptors such as S. Choimbol, A. Davaatssren, N. Jambai and L. Dashdeleg. The monument to D. Sukhbaatar by S. Choimbol is a symbol of Mongolia and it gives an idea of our country to foreign visitors. It is a unique example of a Mongolian horse-rider represented through the medium of sculpture. It is hoped that creative young artists will further contribute to sculpture in Mongolia

Go top

Copyright ©2006 by Nomin Sky Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved