Ordos Culture

Ordos is a splendid cultural treasure house with distinct regional ethnic characteristics. Ordos region, with its profound historical culture, splendid ethnic culture and unique regional culture, is one of the regions with the most complete preservation of Mongolian traditional culture, customs and etiquette. Ordos culture tour will provide you experiencing opportunity for the grand sacrifice ceremony held in front of the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan, Aobao Ji, unique Ordos wedding ceremony and Hada greeting ceremony.

Ethnic Groups in Ordos

Ordos is home to 19 ethnic groups, with Mongolian as the main ethnic group, and Han nationality holding the largest population, thus forming diverse ethnic culture. The ethnic groups live in Ordos also include Manchu, Hui nationality, Daur, Oroqen, Uyghur nationality, Tibetan, etc. 

Ethnic Banners in Ordos

Ordos Local Customs

Hada (哈达)

Hada, a traditional ceremonial scarf used in Tibet and Mongolia, is an indispensable item used for daily salute in Ordos. It is made of fine satin cloth or silk cotton, usually in gray color, white, yellow and blue. Offering Hada is a courtesy used by Ordos Mongolians in welcoming guests, presenting gifts, celebrating festivals and in daily communication. The method of giving Hada is to show the folded mouth of Hada to the recipient, holding it respectfully with open hands. Under normal circumstances, those who accept Hada should turn the folded opening of the received Hada back to the host. Tourists traveling to Inner Mongolia will be surely greeted in this way.

Ordos Wedding Ceremony (鄂尔多斯婚礼)

The Ordos Wedding Ceremony has kept the most complete folk etiquette of Mongolian ethnic group since the 13th century. The apealing elements of the ceremony lie in the specific ceremonial procedures, such as the engagement presentation of the Hada, greeting the son-in-law, offering sheep and toasting, asking name and age, offering the mother's blessing and so on. Singing and dancing make the wedding a more joyful and harmonious form of celebration. Now, there is wedding ceremony themed performance available in Ordos, providing tourists to enjoy it even though you don’t happen to come to a real wedding during your tour.

Sacrificial Ceremony at the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan (成吉思汗陵祭奠)

The ceremony, which has a history of more than 700 years and held at the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan in the ninth month on the Chinese lunar calendar, mainly embodies the Mongolian worship to their ancestor and hero, Genghis Khan. People express their worship to their hero through the ceremony in various forms, such as offering animals and lighting fires. The sacrificial ceremony for Genghis Khan was listed as one of China's intangible cultural heritages in 2006. Tourists want to watch the ceremony should plan their Ordos tours to be in October. 

Aobao Worship Ceremony (Ji Ao Bao, 祭敖包)

Aobao Worship Ceremony, usually held from the fifth to the eight month of the Chinese lunar calendar, is the grandest worship ceremony of the Mongolian. Aobao Worship Ceremony falls into four categories: Blood Worship, Wine Worship, Fire Worsip and Jade Worship. At first, the Mongolia will offer Hadas, Milk Wine and cheese, and then a Lama will chant the sutras in a stately voice and carry out rituals. After that, the Mongolian will circle the Aobao for three times, praying for forture and logevity. The time for the ceremony is just the best travel season in Ordos with grass was lush and the herds were tallow, the ceremony is also the forerunner of the renowned Nadam Festival. Therefore, it is highly suggested that you shouldn’t miss inviting activity.

Folk Songs

Ordos is known as "the sea of songs" and has nurtured a wealth of traditional music culture. There are three kinds of folk songs listed on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage: Ordos Short Tune folk song (短调民歌), an indispensable part of Mongolian traditional music well known for its sonorous sounds and melodious tunes as well as extensive themes and rich contents; Manhan folk song (漫瀚调), which means “folk songs in desert areas” in Chinese), is paasionate, bold and unconstrained in simple and novel melody; Guru folk song (古如歌), originated from the royal court and is the only complete preserved court song of Mongolian nationality. It is an important part of court culture and embodies the unique style of Mongolian court etiquette music in the Yuan Dynasty.