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Camel festivals: Wrestling, racing, jumping and a beauty contest

The Mazayin Dhafra Camel Festival includes a camel beauty contest, and in Yemen men leap over camels during the Sanaa Summer Festival.

Camel festivals: Wrestling, racing, jumping and a beauty contest

It's only fitting that today, the day of the first Great Trojan Camel Wrestling Festival in Canakkale, Turkey, we take a look at the other camel-centric celebrations around the world. (And yes, camel wrestling is pretty much what it sounds like.)

There's India's International Camel fair at Bikaner in Rajasthan, where ornately dressed camels dance to their master's tune, bopping and hopping up and down with fancy footwork.

There's also the Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed al-Nahyan Camel Festival, held at the Shweihan racecourse in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. Camel racing is a popular sport in the Middle East. It's sort of like horse racing, but, you know, with camels. 

In the Mazayin Dhafra Camel Festival, judges in December last year somehow told the difference between a beautiful camel and an ugly one. 

Ali Al Mansouri, a member of the Mazayna Al Dhafra organizing committee, told The National that the judges look for camels with "big heads, wide necks, firm ears, broad cheeks and big whiskers.”

And finally, there's Yemen's camel jumping competitions. Men in west coast Zaraniq tribe leap over a line of camels in a single bound. The man who jumps over the most camles is declared the winner. 

Take a look at camel jumping here: