Monday, December 5, 2011

Ships of the desert? Camels show they're pretty nippy in the frozen tundra too


Bumpy ride: Mongolian tribesmen take part in a camel race during a winter Naadam festival in Hulun Buir, north China's Inner Mongolia region

Camels, usually known as the ships of the desert, here show that they are pretty handy for traversing the snow-covered tundra as well.

These incredible pictures are from the winter Naadam festival in Hulun Buir, in north China's Inner Mongolia region.

The event showcases Mongolian nomads' traditional sports and pastimes, including folk dancing, wrestling, archery, and, or course camel racing.

Lovely weather for a sleigh ride together... a Mongolian tribesman rides a sleigh pulled by a camel during the winter Naadam in Hulun Buir

The festival's origin lies in the warlike past of the Mongolian people, and it is believed to have existed for centuries in one form or another.

The Naadam - which in Mongolian means, simply, games - begins with an elaborate introduction ceremony featuring dancers, athletes, horse riders, and musicians.

Snow contest: Traditional horse racing in the Naadam, which China is promoting as a tourist attraction. Its latest five-year plan calls for tourism revenues to rise 10 per cent

Towns with significant Mongolian populations in China have their own, smaller Naadam celebrations.

The Hulun Buir festival is the latest event seized upon by Chinese authorities to promote tourism in remote parts of the coutry during the cold winter months.

China's latest five-year economic plan calls for tourism revenues to rise 10 per cent annually to 2.3trillion yuan by 2015, up from 1.44trillion yuan in 2010.

Keeping out the cold: A group of Mongolian women provide a splash of cheerful colour in their traditional costumes and fur hats

Snow business: Mongolians in exotic national costumes put on a show for the tourists during the Naadam. The biggest games are held in the capital Ulaanbaatar

source: dailymail

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