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Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling

Since 1360
26 Views Claim Report


09:00 AM - 18:00
09:00 AM - 18:00
09:00 AM - 18:00
09:00 AM - 18:00
09:00 AM - 18:00
09:00 AM - 18:00

Welcome to the Time-Honored Tradition of Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling

Explore the rich history and cultural significance of Kırkpınar, the legendary Turkish oil wrestling tournament that has captivated audiences for centuries.

History: A Tradition Dating Back to 1360

Kırkpınar, an annual Turkish oil wrestling tournament, has been captivating audiences since 1360. Held near Edirne, Turkey, the event boasts a legacy that has stood the test of time. According to legend, Ottoman soldiers began organizing oil-wrestling tournaments in Kırkpınar in 1360, making it the world’s oldest continuously sanctioned sporting competition, as recognized by the Guinness World Records.

The Spirit of Pehlivans: More Than Just Wrestling

Oil wrestling is deeply rooted in Turkish tradition, evolving into a national sport in both Iran and the Ottoman Empire. The term “pehlivan” not only refers to a wrestler but also embodies qualities of strength, honesty, and generosity. Throughout history, pehlivans have poured olive oil on their bodies, a practice that continues to this day.

Kırkpınar Festival: A Celebration of Strength and Tradition

Accompanying the oil wrestling tournament is the Kırkpınar Festival, a vibrant celebration that adds an extra layer of cultural richness to the event. The festival honors the heroism of conquering warriors and pays homage to the historical roots of the competition.

From Legends to Reality: The Fig Tree Story

One of the most enduring legends surrounding Kırkpınar involves a legendary bout that lasted through the night, resulting in the death of both finalists. Buried beneath a fig tree, their sacrifice is commemorated by the annual wrestling tournament held at the site.

Evolution and Adaptation: Changes Over Time

Over the centuries, Kırkpınar has evolved, adapting to societal changes. From the traditional wrestling pants to the introduction of time limits in 1975, the tournament has successfully blended tradition with contemporary elements.

Transition to the Modern Era: From Aghas to Municipal Responsibility

With the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the advent of the Turkish Republic, Kırkpınar underwent changes under the guidance of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The introduction of new awards and a shift from agha sponsorship to municipal responsibility marked a turning point in the tournament’s history.

Present-Day Spectacle: A Festival for Millions

Today, the Edirne Kırkpınar is organized by the municipality of Edirne, hosting around 300 oil-wrestling games annually, attracting an impressive ten million spectators. The event continues to showcase the strength, resilience, and respect embedded in the Turkish cultural fabric.

Federation and Future: Preserving Tradition

In 1996, the Turkish Federation of Traditional Sport Branches was established, consolidating various traditional sports, including oil wrestling. This initiative, under Alper Yazioğlu’s leadership, ensures the preservation and promotion of these cultural treasures for generations to come.

Join us in celebrating the timeless tradition of Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling, where strength, honor, and respect converge in a mesmerizing display of athleticism and culture.

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Yeniimaret, 22020 Edirne Merkez/Edirne

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