Mongolia - Naadam Festival Contests

July 11. The National Naadam Festival in Ulaan Baatar. The big three sports at the festival are horse racing (held outside the stadium, west of the city), wrestling, and archery.



Hundreds of wrestlers compete, with half a dozen or so matches going on at once. In the early rounds, favorites (big and heavy) are paired against underdogs (small and light).



Men and women compete in separate archery contests, the men at slightly longer distances. In addition to familiar target shooting, they try to hit a small target on the ground, mimicking the use of bow and arrow to hunt for small animals.



A fourth type of competition, which turned out to be unexpectedly interesting, is ankle bones, or shagai . (Think archery at 10-20 feet with bows = finger flicks and arrows = bony dominoes.)

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This page contains a single entry by Victor Bloomfield published on August 2, 2012 9:31 AM.

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