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The Festivals on the Silk Road

On the China Silk Road, there are 13 local ethnic groups for a long history and other 30 ethnic minorities scattering over the region. They believe different religions and use different festivals for celebrating.

Travel here; please follow the local religious customs, habits, living styles and especially taboos.

In Shaanxi

1. Xian Ancient Culture and Art Festival

Xian Ancient Culture and Art Festival is one of the biggest cultural tourist festivals in Xian, Shaanxi Province. It has been held in the September each year since 1990. In the festival, tourist can get a good chance to see great pieces of folk art of Xian.

Time: September every year

Xian Ancient Culture and Art Festival

In Gansu

2. Gannan Shambhala Tourism Art Festival

This festival is the crystal of the Tibetan people's pursuit for happiness and peace and their wish for the unity and harmony of the people of all the ethnic groups. Tourists may go to Lanzhou by air and then change a train or a long-distance bus to Gannan. There are Sgor-bro Dance, the showcase of Tibetan costumes and the performance of a train of 1,000 horses, etc.

Time: Mid-august every year
Attractions: Sanke Grassland, Labrang Monastery, Milarepa Buddhism Tower
Special foods: milk tea, tsampa, Ganna morel,beef noodle soup, babao tea, wolfberries, jujubes, walnuts, longan fruites, sesame seeds, raisins and apple chip.

Gannan Shambhala Tourism Art Festival

3. Sharang Festival

In the time of Sharang Festival, the Tibetan people living in the cities, towns and countryside go one after another to the tops of mountains or Sangke grasslands to pitch tents, cool in the open, drink wine and enjoy themselves for several days in succession.

Some villages organize diverse activities, 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 will gather on the grassland near a river or a lake to sing love songs, express affections and looks for their lovers.

Time: the sixth month of the Tibetan Calendar

Sharang Festival

4. The Grand Summons Ceremony at the Labrang Monastery

The Labrang Monastery ranks first in the number of Tibetan Scriptures in all the Buddhist temples in China. Every year, the Monastery holds seven large-scale summon ceremonies. Different kinds of Buddhist services are held, such as displaying the images of Buddha, Dharma dance, chanting scriptures, praying, debates on Buddhist scriptures and so on.

Time: from 4th to 7th day of the first lunar month, and 29th of the sixth lunar month to 15th of the seventh lunar month

The Grand Summons Ceremony at the Labrang Monastery

5. Tianshui Fuxi Culture Festival

Tianshui is the hometown of Fuxi Culture Festival. During the festival, various kinds of folk performances are shown, such as Wushan Rotating Drum Dance, Qincheng Plywood Dance, etc.

Time: the 13th day of the fifth lunar month
Attractions: Western Xia Tombs, Shahu Lake, Liupan Mountain, Helan Mountain and Tengger Dessert

Tianshui Fuxi Culture Festival

6. Dunhuang Art Festival

This festival is a brand-new name card of Dunhuang City. It provides a stage for world to get touch with Dunhuang arts. You can appreciate Dunhuang arts in the grand Dunhuang Hotel. Charming dancers, elegant costume, splendid melodies and mysterious Silk Road stories, all of these factors make Dunhuang become a city with profound culture.

Time: from June to October each year

Dunhuang Art Festival

In Xinjiang

7. Turpan Grape Festival

In Turpan, grape cultivation has a history of over 2,000 years. Most grapes are grown in the famous Grape Valley, also named "Pearl City" in the deserts.

Since launched in 1990, Turpan Grape Festival has become an annual event in Turpan. Various activities are held this time, such as Uygur wedding ceremony, mashlap (lively and humorous folk dance), Koco-style songs and dances, the Hami-melon competition, economic and trade talks, etc.

Time: from August 25 to September 1 each year

Turpan Grape Festival

8. East Fast-Breaking Festival

The Festival of Fast-Breaking is one of the three main Islamic festivals and celebrated by the Hui, Uygur and Kazak people.

In the early morning of the festival, adult Muslims will take baths, put on their holiday best and go to the mosque for praying. Then they begin visiting relatives and friends, extend greetings to each other, and hand out deep-fried dough twists, fried doughnuts, almonds, tea and fruit as a form of celebration.

Time: the 1st day of the tenth month of the Islamic Calendar

East Fast-Breaking Festival

9. Corban Festival

At the time of Corban Festival, Muslims would go to the mosque where they attend the religious service and slaughter animals for the ceremony. Every Xinjiang family also celebrates the festival by slaughtering cattle, sheep and camels to entertain friends and relatives. In addition, they sing Xinjiang songs and perform Xinjiang dances for ceremony. Other activities are held: grasping sheep on a horseback, horse races and chasing after girls.

Time: the 10th day of the twelfth of the Islamic Calendar

Corban Festival

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