Mongolians are using the festival to celebrate their heritage
A festival has begun in Mongolia to honour the nation's most famous emperor, warrior Genghis Khan.
Celebrations marking the 800th anniversary of the Mongol empire have been going on all year.
But the highlight is the three-day Nadaam festival, which features the traditional "three manly sports" of horse-racing, wrestling and archery.
The games are taking place around the country, with the population thronging to district centres to take part.
"This is the most beautiful and important holiday of our country," Tsendsuren Majaa, who was attending the games in the western town of Arvaikheer, told Reuters news agency.
In an opening ceremony at the Central Stadium in the capital, Ulan Bator, 800 musicians played the national anthem while men in traditional warrior garb rode around the arena on horses.
Ahead of the festival, an eight-metre high statue of the Genghis Khan was unveiled in Ulan Bator on Monday.
Crowds gathered to watch the unveiling of the tribute to their national hero.
"For Mongolians, he's almost like Jesus Christ. They feel very close to him," the president of Chinggis Khaan University, Kh. Lkhagvasuren, told the AFP news agency.
Genghis Khan united warring tribes in Central Asia to establish the Mongol empire in 1206.
At the height of its power, under his descendants, the enormous empire encompassed lands that are now China, Russia, Iraq and Iran.
Mongolia's first rock opera - another tribute to Genghis Khan - was performed in May as part of celebrations marking the country's founding.
In recent weeks, the authorities have released some 700 prisoners, about 10% of the nation's prison population, to mark the anniversary, the AFP news agency said.