Traditional wrestling is a national sport in Mongolia in which no age, weight and time limit applied. Throughout its 2500 year history, Mongolian wrestling evolved enormously and took its present shape. Wrestlers in colourful wrestling outfits compete in open-air stadium or outdoors. Before and after a wrestling round, wrestlers perform a falcon dance as way of warming up and stretching. The winner of a match does a ritual of “tahimaa avah“ or celebrating the result of the match followed by paying respect to the national flag and offering fried pastries to audience as a gesture of sharing good fortune. The State Naadam Festival is the only occasion to earn a prestigious title. Mongolian wrestling has hierarchical title from district to the state Naadam.
- Nachin-Falcon, after winning 5 rounds
- Hartsaga-Hawk, after winning 6 rounds
- Zaan– Elephant, after winning 7 rounds
- Garid– Garuda, after winning 8 rounds
- Arslan– Lion, after winning 9 rounds
- Avarga– Champion. If a wrestler with a title of Lion wins in the State Naadam Festival become the Avarga. Other wrestlers will get a title of Lion if they win in the State Naadam Festival.
If a wrestler with a title of Lion wins several Naadams, there will also be decorative titles are given to each Avarga or Lion. Decorative, yet poetic titles are called loudly by wrestlers’ “zasuul” or field advisers on the third, fifth and seventh rounds of wrestling tournament. Such as title include Dayan Avarga or Grand Champion, Darhan Avarga or Confident Champion if the Lion wins 4 times, Unen huchit– Genuinely powerful, Unen zorigt – Genuinely brave, Sarul saijrah– Ever growing, Hariltgui javhlant– Undeniably Joyful, Dayar dursagdah– Ever remembered, Tumnes togoldor– The perfect of all, Olnoos oncgoi– The solely unique, Bayariin manlai– The best of best, Tunchig garamgai– Graciously skilful and so forth.