Saturday, July 11, 2009

....and the horsemen opened the show.


I
t wasn't the President of Mongolia speaking that opened the Naadam Festival. Even Grand Marshal riding around in the car did not signal the start for me. No, for me it was the horsemen who heralded the opening of the festival.

Mongolians revere their horses and so it seemed perfectly befitting that they would have the honor of leading off the festival events. Dressed in colors of the Mongolian flag, the horsemen rode in formation, in rows of three, and atop horses that were perfectly matched in size, pattern and coloration.

Leading off the contingent of horsemen were nine riders carrying banners made of white yak tails. All the horsemen were costumed in ancient military attire. The crowds were cheering as loud as they possibly be as the sight of the horsemen riding on their magnificent mounts was spectacular! I had goosebumps!



One contingent of horsemen carried the national flag of Mongolian and demonstrated their skill in riding in formation. This was a display of national pride.





I was so enjoying the show that I was sad to see the uniformed horsemen riding out of the stadium.



Luckily, there was a small group of horsemen dressed in colorful uniforms that brought up the rear so I could enjoy the spectacle of the horsemen one last time.

Men in uniforms riding magnificent horses! What a great way to kick off the festivities :-)