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Home > Silk Road > Festivals In Cities Along The Silk Road

Festivals In Cities Along The Silk Road

Ⅰ. Gannan Shambhala Tourism Art Festival
Time: Mid August every year
Venue: Dangzhou Grassland in Hezou City, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous prefecture, Gansu Province

According to the Tibetan Buddhism and folk Legends, “Shambhala” means a pure land on earth. Legend has it that it is a peaceful and quiet land where people and nature coexist in perfect harmony; people’s soul can be purified and sublimed; and people are bathed in happy sunshine for generations. The Shambhala Tourism Art Festival is the Crystal of the Tibetan people’s pursuit for happiness and peace, and their goodwill wish for the unity and harmony of the people of all the ethnic groups.

What’s On
Sgor-bro Dance, the showcase of Tibetan costumes, the performance of a train of 1,000 horses, and so on.

Main Tourist Attractions
Sanke Grassland, Labrang Monastery, Milarepa Buddhism Tower, etc.

Tourists may go to Lanzhou of Gansu Province by air, and then change a train or a long-distance bus to Gannan.

Ⅱ. China Silk Road Turpan Grape Festival
Time: August 25 too September 1 every year
Venue: Turpan city’ the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

Grape cultivation in the world-famous city of Turpan has a history of more than 2,000 years. Of the 100-odd grapes, known as “green pearls of China,” are the most precious. The raisin and wine produced in Turpan are known for their lingering good tastes. Most of Turpan’s grapes are grown in the renowned Grape Valley, also called “Pearl City” in the deserts. The Xinjiang Grape Festival was first launched in 1990 and has since become an annual event in Turpan.
What’’s On: The Uygur wedding ceremony, mashlap (lively and humorous folk dance), Koco-style songs and dances, the Hami-melon competition, economic and trade talks, a tour of the Grape and Melon Street, camel caravans, and reappearance of the Silk Road more than 2,000 years ago.

Main Tourist Attractions
Flaming Mountain, Grape Valley, Subterranean Irrigation System (Karez Channels), ancient city of Jiaohe, and old town of Gaochang.

Tourists may fly to Urumqi and then go to Turpan by bus.

Ⅲ. China Ningxia Great Desert and Yellow River International Tourism Festival
Time: July every year
Venue: Zhongwei City in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region

Jointly sponsored by the China National Tourism Administration and the People’s Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the Great Desert and Yellow River International Tourism Festival aims to launch exchanges and cooperation with domestic and foreign counterparts, strengthen friendship between the Chinese and foreign people, and promote the prosperity and development of Ningxia’s tourism and economy through the display of the deserts in Ningxia, the ancient Yellow River culture, the customs and lifestyle of the Hui people, and the mysterious Western Xia Kingdom.

What’s On
A series of special activities are held during the festival, such as a boat tour on the Yellow River, a tour of the ancient Great Wall, an exploration tour the deserts, an ecological tour of Shahu Lake, a tour of the land of the Hui people, a tour for tracing the Silk Road, a summer holiday tour in Liupan Mountain, a an exploration tour of Helan of the mysterious Western Xia Kingdom, drifting on the Yellow River by 1,000 people, walking through the Tengger Desert by 10,000people, a Carting car race, the week for the display of Western Xia Kingdom culture, the Taoyue “Yellow River Grassland Culture Tourism festival,” and so on.

Main Tourist Attractions
Western Xia Tombs, Shahu Lake, Liupan Mountain, Helan Mountain and Tengger Desert.

Tourists may fly to Yinchuan, where they may get on a train or a long-distance bus to go the destination.  

Ⅳ. Sharang Festival
Time: The sixth month by the Tibetan Calendar
Venue: Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province

In the Tibetan language, the Sharang Festival means “cutting firewood,” and the festival refers to a picnic when people cut firewood in the mountains. In the past, the lamas of the Labrang monastery in Xiahe went out to cut firewood in hot summer every year. As the mountains were far away from the Monastery, the lamas who could not return to the Monastery on the same day had to camp at the foot of the mountains or by the rivers. More often than mot, they had to live in the open area several days running. As time went by , it has become a traditional festival loved by the farmers and herdsmen nearby.

What’s On
In the sixth month by the Tibetan calendar, the Tibetan people living in the cities, towns and countryside go one after another to the mountaintops or grasslands to pitch tents, cool in the open, drink wine and enjoy themselves for several days in succession. Some villages organize various activities in the month, such as singing and dancing, horse race, running race, wrestling, tug of war, a game of chess and other cultural activities. At night, young men and women would leave the tents and gather at the expanse of grassland near a river or a lake to sing love songs, express affections and looks for their lovers.

Main Tourist Attractions
Sangke Grassland, Labrang Lamasery, Milarepa Buddhism Pavilion, etc.

Tourists may go to Lanzhou by air or train, and then go to Gannan by long-distance bus.

Ⅴ. The Grand Summons Ceremony at the Labrang Monastery
Time: From the fourth to the 17th day of the first month, and from the 29th day of the sixth month to the 15th day of the seventh month by the Tibetan calendar.
Venue: Labrang Monastery in Xiahe County, Gansu Province

First constructed in the 48th year (1709) of the Kangxi reign of the Qing Dynasty, the Labrang Monastery in Xiahe is the largest Tibetan Buddhist institution of higher learning beyond Tibet. Thanks to its large size, the monastery ranks first in the number of Tibetan Scriptures in all the Buddhist temples throughout the country. Every year, the Labrang Monastery holds seven largescale summins ceremonies, of which the Monlam Prayer Assembly in the first month and the Preaching Assembly in the seven month by the Tibetan calendar are the most magnificent. Buddhist believes from Gandu, Qinghai, Sichuan and Inner Mongolia gather here to celebrate the annual festivals.

What’s On
Various kinds of Buddhist services are held, such as displaying the images of Buddha, Performing the Dharma dance, chanting scriptures, Praying, holding the butter sculpture flower fair, organizing the examinations for minks and debates on Buddhist scriptures, and celebrating the one-month Langsam Festival for the Tibetan people.

Main Tourist Attractions
Labrang Monstery,Lhamo Monastery, Bharkor City, Daligyacui Co, Daerzong Co, Dajutan Grassland, and so on.

Tourists may go to Lanzhou by air, or train, and then take a bus to Xiahe.

Ⅵ. Four Grand Summons Ceremonies at the Kunmbum Monastery
Time: From the 14th to 15th day of the first month, the 14th to the 15th day of the fourth month, the seventh to the eighth day of the sixth month, and the 22th to the 23rd day of the ninth month by the Tibetan calendar.
Venue: Huangzhong County, Qinghai Province

Constructed to commemorate Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Yellow Sect, the Kumbum Monastery is a center for Buddhist activities in northwest China and one of the “holy lands” of the believers in Chinese Lamaism, known for the three consummate arts of butter sculpture flowers, murals and embroidered fabrics. The Grand Summons Ceremony is a Buddhist activity to Preach Buddhism and worship Buddha. The Kumbum Monastery holds four traditional summons ceremonies a year, with a magnificent scene and a solemn atmosphere, which are very attractive to tourists.

What’s On
 During the summons ceremony, the Tibetan, Tu and Mongolian people holds various Buddhist activities, such as the exhibition of butter sculpture Flowers, and displaying Buddhist images, From the 14th to the 15th day of the first month by the Tibetan calendar, Yamataka (Destroy of Death) Dance is performed and a large exhibition of butter sculpture flowers is held; from 14th to the 15th day of the fourth month by the Tibetan calendar, Buddhist believers do Yamataka Dance and display the images of Buddha under the sun; from the seventh to the eighth day of the sixth month by the Tibetan calendar, Buddhists perform Yamatak Dance and display the IMAGES OF Buddha under the sun; and from the 22nd to the 23rd day of the ninth month by the Tibetan Calendar, pilgrims perform Hayagriva (Horse-Head God) Dance, and Pay homage to Buddha and commemorate the death of Tsongkhaba.

Main Tourist Attractions
Kumbum Monastery, Dongguan Mosque, Qinghai Lake, Birds Island, etc.

Tourists may go to Xining by plane or train, and then change a long-distance bus to Huangzhong County.

Ⅶ. Festival of East Fast-Breaking
Time: the first day of the 10th month by the Islamic Calendar.
Venue: the areas inhabited by the Hui, Uygur and Kazak people.

According to the Islamic scriptures, when Islam was founded, Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which no food or drink may be taken between sunrise and sunset). After that he put on clean clothes and led Moslems to the outskirts to hold religious services and distribute fast-breaking donations to atone for their sins. With time going by, this practice has been handed down and become one of the three major festivals of Islam.

What’s On
In the early morning of the Festival of Fast-Breaking, adult Muslims would take a bath, put on their holiday best and go to the mosque. In addition, Muslims visit friends and relatives, exchange greetings and gifts, such as oil and sanzi (fried dough twists) to express congratulations with each other. The people who live a nomadic attend the horse race, sheep-grasping on horse-back and other activities, adding much joyous atmosphere to the festival.

Main Tourist Attractions
It is different to name the tourist attractions in Urumqi, Turpan and Kashi in Xinjiang, and Yinchuan in Ningxia.

Tourists may fly to Urumqi, where they may get on a bus to Turpan, taking about two to three hours. Tourists may go from Urumqi to Kashi by air.

Ⅷ. Corban Festival
Time: The 10 th day of the 12th month by the Islamic Calendar
Venue: The areas inhabited by the Hui, Uygur and Kazak people

An ancient Arabic legend goes that Father Abraham had faith and trust in Allah. One day in his dream, Allah ordered him to kill son to offer sacrifices. When Abraham was about to execute his son, Allah dispatched an angel to the site with a sheep, ordering Abraham to slaughter the sheep instead. After that, people would slaughter sheep to pray for safety on the day. Now the Corban Festival (meaning slaughtering animals) is celebrated every year.
What’s On: At the festival, Muslims would go to the mosque where they attend the religious service and the ceremony for slaughtering animals. Then every family would start celebrations by slaughtering cattle, sheep and camels to entertain friends and relatives. During the feast, they taste various delicious foods and chat happily with each other. The ethnic minority people in Xinjiang sing song and perform dances to celebrate the festival, in addition to other activities, such as grasping sheep on horseback, horse races and “chasing after girls.”
Main Tourist Attractions
It is difficult to name the tourist attractions one by one. It is suggested that tourists refer to the main tourist attractions in Urumqi, Turpan and Kashi in Xinjiang, and Yinchuan in Ningxia.

Tourists may go to Urumqi by air, and then get on a bus to Turpan, taking about two to three hours. Tourists may also fly from Urumqi to Kashi.

Ⅸ. Green Hulun Buir China Genghis Khan Grassland Culture Festival
Time: in summer every year
Venue: Hailar District in Hulun Buir City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
Origin: Originally known as Temujin, Genghis Khan (1162-1227) rose up in Hulun Buir, consolidated all the Mongol tribes and placed under his leadership a centralized Khanate, which brought the Mongols to a new stage of development. In 1206 he proclaimed the founding of Great Khan, with the reign title of Genghis Khan. He was a politician and strategist with a great influence in the world. As a gallant and formidable warrior, he took part in the numerous wars in his life, and held a dominant position in Eurasia. To commemorate Genghis Khan and promote the lacal excellent ethnic culture, the Hulun Buir Municipal Government holds this culture festival in summer every year.

What’s On
The “Meeting-at-Aobao” Folk Song Festival, the ‘Hulun Buir Love” Exhibition of Fine Arts, Calligraphy, Photography, Cultural Relics and Folk Customs, the cultural parade and performance, the performance, the performance of ethnic and folk square dances, the large “Beautiful Hulun Buir” Song and Dance Gala, and the theatrical and sports performances at the “Nadam” Fair.

Main Tourist Attractions
Hulun Buir Grassland, Hulun Lake, Bayan Us Aobao Mountain, etc.

Transport: Tourist
Tourists may go to Hulun Buir by air or train.

Ⅹ. Tianshui Fuxi Culture Festival
Time: The 13th day of the fifth lunar month
Venue: Tianshui City, Gansu Province

Origin: According to ancient Chinese legends, Fuxi, the first ancestor of mankind, made outstanding contributions to the Chinese civilization. Fuxi was said be the first man who taught folks to weave nets for hunting and fishing, decided the marriage system, created the calendar, invented musical instruments, educated people to prepare and eat cooked food, and initiated the Eight Trigrams (eight combinations of three whole or broken lines formerly used in divinations), the symbolized sign of ancient Chinese culture. Along with the move of tribes, the ancient civilization created and advocated by Fuxi was introduced to other ethnic groups in the Yellow River valley, giving birth to the Chinese nation with Yandi and Huangdi tribes as the core, and Fuxi culture as the foundation. Legend has it that the 13th day of the fifth lunar month is the birthday of Fuxi. Tianshui is the hometown of Fuxi Culture Festival.
What’s On: During the festival, various kinds of folk performances are shown, of which Wushan Rotating Drum Dance and Qincheng Plywood Dance are the most attractive.

Main tourist Attractions
Western Xia Tombs, Shahu Lake, Liupan Mountain, Helan Mountain and Tengger Desert.

Tourists may fly to Lanzhou, and then go to Tianshui by train or long-distance bus.

The below tour packages are perfect for travelers who want to explore more facts about Silk Road!

10-Day Silk Road Adventure

11-Day Silk Road Reiscovery Tour

14-Day Trace The Silk Road

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