Kızıldağ Karakucak Wrestling FestivalThe Kızıldağ Karakucak Wrestling Festival has stood the test of time and is still keeping tradition alive today.
This year marks 531 years of the Kızıldağ Karakucak Wrestling Festival. Yes, you read that correctly! The Kızıldağ Karakucak Wrestling Festival, which takes place in Adana’s Karaisalı district, has been held exactly 531 times. As well as holding an important place in Turkish culture and the world of sport, the festival is soon expected to take its place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Karakucak (literally meaning ‘black hug’) wrestling, can be traced back to the Oghuz Turks. It is specific to Turkey and the most important difference between this and other forms of wrestling is the use of oil on the wrestler’s body. Over the centuries, the Kızıldağ Karakucak Wrestling Festival has, without doubt, more than achieved its aim of keeping alive the oldest form of Turkic wrestling, and with every passing year, it enjoys the well-deserved pride of making this cultural tradition one year older. The festival takes place at the Kızıldağ Yaylası Aytaç Durak Sports Complex, and these heroic competitors always take to the field in the third week of August.