News Getting the hump: camels do battle in front of tens of thousands of spectators

On Sunday, more than 20,000 people will gather in Turkey to watch camels do battle in a spectacle that dates back thousands of years. It is, depending on your attachment to the ungainly beasts, a historic cultural institution to be celebrated – or a throwback to an era before animal-rights campaigns when it was OK to starve an animal for three months to make it cross.

Motorcycling: Second for Rossi as Tamada saves face for Honda

Valentino Rossi was content to settle for second place in the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi after moving a step closer to his fourth consecutive world championship.

Album: Pram

Dark Island, Domino

Column One: Malaysia bursts with pride over heaviest tapioca

FOR ALL its novelty value, a man who spent two days sitting in a chair dressed as Father Christmas would not, in most countries, be regarded as a national hero. In many cultures, collectors of large numbers of toy camels, bow ties or paper bags would be regarded with as much pity as admiration.

Look out - she's behind you!

Playing a pantomime horse is no laughing matter. (Oh no it isn't!) For a start, it takes two performers. Julia Stuart made her stage debut - playing Clapton's rear end

Words: camel, n.

IS THE new Oxford Dictionary of Quotations right to credit Alex Issigonis with the phrase "a camel is a horse designed by a commitee"? One had assumed it current before he found fame with his idiosyncratic motor-car, the Mini.

There's only one thing that men want from women. And that's everything

Men leaving, men lying, men bashing - truly my sex could do with the services of a good PR company right now. It can only get worse over the next few weeks too, given the way parties affect us. We are too easily destabilised, that's our trouble, too excited by company and wine, and too responsive to the primitive magic of dates and anniversaries. What man can keep the peace either side of a turning year? Or keep his word, or keep his counsel, or keep the faith, or keep any part of himself where it should be?

Sudan: The Book That Inspired Me - `in Search Of The Forty Days Road' By Michael ASHER

IN 1987, five days after getting married, Kate and I flew to Sudan to begin work as English teachers in the small desert township of Babanusa. Bored with England and disillusioned with Thatcherism, we had answered an advertisement which stated that "enthusiasm is more important than experience". An interview at the Sudanese Embassy, with talk of the harsh climate, the lack of alcohol and the monotonous diet, had only increased our excitement. Our honeymoon was going to be the biggest adventure of our lives.

Theatre: The greatest story ever told

It made theatre history - and now it's back. Stephen Fay goes behind the scenes of `The Mysteries'

Travel: A hard sell in the desert

A round-up of what's happening around the world this month

Football: Howler adds to Wilson torment

Sheffield Wednesday 0 Everton 2

Edinbourgh Festival '99: Reviews - Pick of the Day

IF YOU GO TO SEE ANYTHING TODAY, THEN CHOOSE FROM ONE OF THESE FIVE MUST-SEE SHOWS

Travel: My journey with the Bedouin

Shena Guild survives a bumpy ride on a camel as she treks into the Syrian desert and samples the life of a nomad
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015