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Naadam Festival opens in Inner Mongolia

Updated: 2013-08-08 19:10
By Zhang Yuchen (

Thursday marks the opening of this year's Naadam Festival in Xilin Gol, situated on the grasslands of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Featuring a range of sporting and artistic events, the Naadam fair is the region's largest traditional festival, and this year's event involved around 3,000 athletes from across the region.

The term naadam translates as "games" and has its roots in ancient times, when people from the Mongolian ethnic group would meet each summer to compete in their three main sports: riding, archery and wrestling.

The Mongolian form of wrestling, known as bokh qin, sees tough men in traditional outfits throw each other around outdoor fighting arenas. Meanwhile, the horse riding and archery events celebrate skills considered essential to traditional life on the Mongolian grasslands.

The festival also includes song and dance performances, as well as the sale of clothes, jewelry and other artistic products.

Around 20,000 people attended the opening ceremony of this year's event.

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