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 Nadam Fair of the Mongolian

Date: Between July and August every year
Place: Inner Mongolia
Activities: Nadam means 'entertainment or game' in Mongolian and Nadam Fair is the annual traditional pageant for Mongolians held in summer during which period the grass is green and the livestock stout and strong. In history, Nadam Fair was held for large-scale sacrificial activities and to pray for blessings from Manito. Now, activities like wrestling, horseracing, and archery (the three skills all Mongolian men should master) are the primary role of the fair. Besides, track and field sports, tug-of-war, basketball and volleyball matches are relatively new additions making the fair even more interesting. The fair finishes with a bonfire party during the night when the young people singing and dancing.

The Nadam Fair is a traditional activity of the Mongolian ethnic group in China. It is derived from Mongol ancestors' custom of riding and shooting and wrestling which was formed in the nomadic life. The word "Nadam" in Mongolian is a joint term of Mongolian-type wrestling, riding and shooting. The Nadam Fair falls on the fourth day of the sixth lunar month (between July and August in solar calendar), and people of any ethnic groups and religions are allowed to participate in.

The Nadam Fair can be traced back to the initial stage of the Mongol Empire. In order to pray for and celebrate a good harvest as well as inspect the army, Genghis Khan convened annual gathering of clan leaders and conducted contest of shooting, horse racing or wrestling. By the late Qing Dynasty, Nadam had evolved into a recreational activity which was regularly held by the government. This festival has been handed down till now, with that held on Xilinguole Grassland being the most famous.

During Nadam Fair, herdsmen will, after dressing themselves up, head for the meeting place on the Mongolian grassland on horseback or in carriage. A great deal of tents are scattered in the meeting place where the contest of polo and horsemanship as well as track and field are held in the daytime other than the traditional events (riding, shooting and wrestling). Meanwhile, material exchanging meeting and commendation meeting are held here. After the night falls, rich and colorful theatrical performances are given, bustling with noise and excitement.

Nadam is a perfect combination of strength and beauty. Take wrestling as an example, there are up to over 30 skills and more than 300 actions regarding the Mongolian-type wrestling which provides that the touchdown of any part above the knee is regarded to be defeated. Prior to the contest, two competitors will troll challenge song for three times, and then enter the arena, presenting the dance movement of flying tercel. After that, they will salute to each other and begin to contest. The winner will cast fruits and milk products to the audience so that they can share his victory. Female wrestling contest has appeared in recent years, at the same time, Mongolian-type wrestling has been listed as a national contest event.