Last weekend, July 10-11, our province held it's Naadam festival. Naadam is an annual, national event in Mongolia. There's a big festival in the capital, but each province holds it's own. Last year we got to see this celebration in a different province, but I didn't get to see very much. This year we spent the full two-days at it.
The festival involves three sports: horse-racing, wrestling, and archery. You may remember that one of the projects I've been working on is the Mongolian Helmet Project. I found donors to contribute new and used helmets for the child jockeys to wear in the horse races. The project was pretty successful! We met our goal and collected over 100 helmets. We distributed many of the helmets the day before the race. Many of the kids wore them in the races too! My coworkers did a great job coordinating the distribution of the helmets and really helped sell the idea of wearing the helmets to the trainers. Hopefully, with each year, more and more kids will wear the helmets in the races, and eventually they'll all be wearing them.
I could go on and on about Naadam, but to really see what it's all about, take a look at the photos I've posted here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=236678&id=504170728&l=db262dce87.