Hohhot Festivals and Events

As a well-known historical and cultural city in Inner Mongolia, Hohhot is also a pearl of grassland. Besides visiting the ancient temples, pagodas and tombs to explore the history of Hohhot, tourists can also enjoy the grassland tours to Xilamuren Grassland(希拉穆仁草原), Huitengxile Grassland(辉腾锡勒) and Gegentala Grassland(格根塔拉草原), which provide magnificent scenery and a wide green "sea" decorated with flocks of sheep, cattle, and horses…

Festivals in Hohhot

Besides some Chinese traditional festivals, like New Year's Day(January 1), Spring Festival(The first day of the first lunar month; February 5, 2019), Tomb Sweeping Day(usually falls on April 5 or around), Dragon Boat Festival(The fifth day of the fifth lunar month; June 7, 2019) and Mid-Autumn Day(The fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month; September 13, 2019), and the National Day(October 1- 7), Hohhot also hold unique ethnic minority festivals and cultural activities.

Mongolian New Year(蒙古族大年)

Mongolian New Year(falls on the first day of the first lunar month) is also the Chinese Spring Festival.In the Mongolian Lunar New Year, on the New Year's eve, the younger generation express their respect and goodwill to the elders by toasting "farewell wine"(means farewell to the past year). People sit around the fire eating dumplings, singing and playing all night.The next day, men and women, old and young, put on new folk costumes and offer sacrifice to Heaven in front of "Aobao", and then they start delivering new year wishes to relatives and friends. It is very similar to Chinese Spring Festival in its content.

Nadam Festival or Nadam Fair(那达慕大会)

Nadam Festival, held throughout the region annually in midsummer, is the biggest traditional Mongolian festival, and also, it is the only one of its kind to express the nomadic culture with traditional ethnic performances, equestrian shows and competition. Nadam means entertainment or recreation in Mongolian, besides the core of the festival – three manly sports – the wrestling, horseracing and archery, it also embraces many elements of arts, such as singing, dancing and performing. Nowadays, women have started participating in the archery and girls in the horse-racing games, but not in Mongolian wrestling. Midsummer is the best time for travelling to Inner Mongolia and places around, tourists must not miss the Nadam Fair, it is a good opportunity to experience the nomadic culture and the local food.

Aobao Festival(敖包会)

Aobao Festival, also known as Aobao Meeting, often takes place from May to August, when the grassland is carpeted with lush grass and inter-weaved with dazzling wild blossoms. The festival is a traditional worshipping festival in Inner Mongolia when people pray for good weather and safety for both humans and livestock. After the Aobao Worship Ceremony (Ji Ao Bao, 祭敖包) is finished, comes the activities such as wrestling, singing and dancing, therefore Aobao Worship Ceremony is also the forerunner of the renowned Nadam Festival.

Zhaojun Cultural Festival(昭君文化节)

The Zhaojun Cultural Festival, which occurs on some chosen days from July to August, is to memorize Wang Zhaojun, a commoner woman in Han dynasty who made great contribution to the peaceful and friendly relations with Xiongnu(匈奴). The festival is to promote Inner Mongolian culture and build a sense of ethnic unity. More than 20 activities will be held during the festival, including art performances, film screenings, exhibitions, forums, food festivals and sports matches. Coming to the festival, tourists can not only appreciate the performances that give you overall understanding of Wang Zhaojun, but also enjoy a good opportunity to taste the local dishes.

Activities in Hohhot

Try Horse Riding

As for the tour on the grassland, horse racing is definitely the most attractive and exciting part to tourists. Tourists can enjoy the horse racing completion at the Nadam Festival, and anyone can apply to take part in the competition regardless of his or her age. Usually riders are boys and girls who are 6-13 years old, and the horses will be divided into several age groups: two, three, four and five-year-old horses, adult horses and stallions. The distance differs from 15 km to 35 km according to the ages of the horses. Awards will be given to the fastest ten horses. When you travel to the grassland, of course you can also try horse riding on the vast green land, not just watching others races.

Enjoy Horseback Archery

Horseback archery, once an important survival skill, is a traditional sports activity of the Mongols. Now it is part of cultures throughout the world, and its varying competitive formats reflect every culture’s traditions. The competition is also held at the Aobao Festival(敖包会) and the Nadam Festival(那达慕大会) , everyone could participate in the competition, and each participant shall get his or her own bow, 9 arrows and horse ready before the competition. The 9 arrows will be shot in three rounds. It is suggested that you should try it when you attend the festivals, you will find it changing your courage, balancing skills and you will see how skillful the Mongolian on the horseback is.

Live in Mongolian Yurt

The Mongolian yurt, or Ger (pronounced “Gher” in Mongolian) is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by generations of Mongolian. The Mongolian people have their own social customs and etiquettes living in the yurt, just like other ethnic minorities in China. The gust will be treated with a bowl of milk tea by the housewife when he step into the yurt, and served with various kinds of dairy products on the table. To experience the folk customs and native life in depth, it is better for you to spend a night in the Mongolian yurt.

Taste Mongolian Food

Speaking of the food in Inner Mongolia, one will have meats and milk in his/her mind. Traditional Mongolian food is found throughout Inner Mongolia. Meats, especially lamb, form most meals, and are divided into the Red Food category while the dairy produce such as milk, yoghurt and cheese are put into the White Food category. In local custom, White Food is the highest treat to their guests, so gust will be treated with a bowl of milk tea when he or she step into the yurt and served with various kinds of dairy products on the table. Roast lamb is the most popular one to Mongolian and tourists as well. You can try almost all of the local dishes at Nadam Festival.