The Mongolian nomadic life isn’t flashy. They’re self-sufficient, have shelter, food, water and clothing. Plenty enough to live a humble, happy and rewarding life. Given their life is so unique, here are 41 facts about Mongolia & their traditions I learnt in the Gobi Desert. Hopefully it helps you understand how they shaped the culture in Mongolia even today.

41 Facts About Mongolia To Help You Understand Nomad Life

  1. They measure the size of a ger by the number of walls it’s made of (four to seven walls is normal).
  2. They have clothes line like things above the beds for beauty and to hang clothes.
  3. They have half the roof open for sunlight.
  4. Believe elephants bring good luck (superstition).
  5. Ladies cook, men herd.
  6. 70% of nomads are Buddhists. Though you won’t see many temples as they tend to keep religion private.
  7. mongolia buddhist temple

    Buddhist Temple. Used Just A Couple Times A Year

  8. It takes between 30 and 60 minutes to set up a ger/take it down, this was a fact I’d like to see done as the gers are very complex.
  9. They move near hills in the winter and plains in the summer.
  10. Move ger around four to six times each year.
  11. Each move is one to five km from the previous place (a lot less than I thought).
  12. If they kill an animal in the summer they will share with neighbours to avoid waste. Neighbours will also do the same.
  13. They use dried animal poo on the wood fire.
  14. If you were to turn up at a random ger needing accommodation, you will almost always be allowed to stay in their ger for the night.
  15. If there’s no squat toilet, you can pee and poo anywhere as long as it’s not near a fence.
  16. Felt is used to line the walls and carpet on floor helps insulation.
  17. You don’t burn rubbish in the fire (as the fire brings family together).
  18. They make milk tea with 70% animal milk (goat, camel, horse, sheep etc) and 30% water and add a few herbs to it.
  19. When you get married, a new ger is traditionally built for you.
  20. Doors to the ger face south as it gets the most sun.
  21. mongolian ger door facing south

    All Ger Doors I Saw faced South

  22. Most gers have two poles in the centre as a base with a rock (or rock substitute) if it gets windy hanging between the poles.
  23. A car battery is used for power in most cases.
  24. When the kids are old enough for higher education, they move to the village.
  25. The Mongolian New Year is mid-February.
  26. New Year is held over three days as it takes so long to get to your village from Ulaanbaatar.
  27. During the New Year the family will cook 800 – 1000 dumplings to feast on.
  28. The dogs often like to chase cars driving past.
  29. Babies are breast fed.
  30. The nomads are happy having the same meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner (mutton dumplings).
  31. The fireplace is used as a stove for boiling water and cooking.
  32. Shoes are allowed on inside.
  33. They really like the color orange.
  34. facts about mongolia they like orange

    Orange fever in the ger

  35. Every family has a large flask for hot water.
  36. If something goes wrong, build a stone structure to get blessed by a Sharman. Can build the sructure anywhere and you walk around the structure 3x (clock wise) and wish for good things.
  37. When leaving Ulaanbaatar to go see your village, easy to locate their precise location by visiting the nearest village.
  38. They don’t sleep on the couch/bed in the ger, preferring the floor for better posture.
  39. Camels are considered the most productive animal for their fur, meat and milk.
  40. The Productive Camel Machine

    The Productive Camel Machine

  41. Biggest village in Mongolia has 6,000 people residing.
  42. They proudly display family photos in the ger.
  43. The common snack is a dried yoghurt like biscuit that they keep in large buckets and keeps for a few weeks.
  44. Sometimes the baby animals will get their own ger to keep them warm at night.
  45. When camels are herded back to base by the shepherd they stay put in their designated area overnight (no fence required!)

Mongolian nomadic life is pretty simple, right? What did you find the most interesting Mongolia facts to be? If you have any questions, let me know below and I will do my best to get them answered by a nomad I can get in touch with.

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mongolia factsfun facts to learn about mongolia and their nomads