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Giant Steppes


Mongolia’s Naadam Festival, held each year from July 11–13, emphasizes wrestling, horse racing, and archery competitions. The festival provides a venue for traditionalists of the Mongolian tribal culture to showcase their strength and courage as both nomads and warriors.

In the festival’s wrestling events, there are no official weight classes, which means a small wrestler (155 pounds) can compete against an opponent more than twice his size. As for the horse races, small equines are jockeyed by children ages 5 to 12, and the 21-mile racecourse takes them over natural obstacles such as rivers, ravines, and hills.

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Marta Bright

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