Ordos Festivals and Events

There are 19 ethnic groups living in Ordos, with Mongolia as the major group but Han nationality taking up the largest proportion in population. Therefore, Mongolian tradition is the most popularly followed ethnic culture in Ordos, besides that of the Han nationality. The ethnic minorities have their own traditional festivals which including unique ceremony and some interesting activities, tourists will have the chance to know more about their ethnic customs while enjoying the local scenery. 

Festivals in Ordos

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(15 days after the Spring equinox; April 5, 2019), 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), Ordos also holds unique ethnic minority festivals and cultural activities

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. As Mongolian cultue is the main theme in Ordos, Namdam Festival is the grandest festival in Ordos. 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.

Bonfire Festival (篝火节)

On June 18 every year, Oroqen people welcomes their traditional Bonfire Festival, all the Oroqen people lit bonfires, singing and dancing, celebrating their national festivals. The annual bonfire festival becomes the only national traditional festival of Oroqen people. On that day, the Oroqen people, men and women, old and young, put on their festival clothes and dress up well then gather at the bonfire square to celebrate their big day. Bonfire Festival activities are divided into three parts including opening ceremony, traditional sports competitions and bonfire entertainment party.The Sports competition consists of horse racing, shooting, archery, wrestling, wrist wrestling, neck rope race, rowing birch boat race, collecting and etc.

Horse Milk Festival (马奶节)

Horse Milk Festival is a traditional Mongolian festival celebrating the harvest. On that day, lots of snacks and drinks will be prepared, with kumis (horse milk wine) served as the main drink, as well as the braised mutton and roasted whole lamb. It is popular in some pastoral areas of Xilingol League and Ordos in Inner Mongolia, and usually held in late August of the lunar calendar, the date is not fixed and lasts for a whole day. People also have horse racing and singing activities after the feast.

Cultural Activities in Ordos

In recent years, Ordos has hosted several sessions of themed cultural festivals and activities, which higly promoted the tourism industry in Ordos and offered more opportunities for visitors to know more about ethnic culture in Ordos  and experience local customs. 

Tourism and Cultural Festival of Ordos (鄂尔多斯旅游文化节)

Usually held in first half of May, the Tourism and Cultural Festival of Ordos is good time for tourists to grasp the local cultures. It is like another way of celebrating Nadam Festival. You can also see the grandest sacrifice ceremony for Genghis Khan in front of the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan. During the Festival, Mongolian wrestling, horse racing, archery and Mongolian chess competitions will also be held, as well as a series of cultural and sports events such as exhibitions of ethnic products in eight provinces, material exchanges, song and dance parties, etc.

Ordos Ice and Snow Culture Festival (鄂尔多斯冰雪文化节)

The festival usually takes place in Jiuchenggong Tourist Area, Dongsheng district, Ordos. The date is not fixed, but mostly in late December to early January. A traditional artistic performance will be put on during the period. Tourists can watch the racing events including Mongolian games of wrestling, horseracing and archery, figure skating, ice and snow sports and enjoy the Mongolian feasts, bonfire carnivals and snow theme park. It also gives memorable experiences to the visitors, with activities such as the snow marathon, the national calligraphy exhibition and the seminar on Belt and Road tourism. In addition, the event is a great opportunity for visitors to learn about traditional customs and practices in Inner Mongolia as well as to enjoy a unique cultural experience. It has become one of the city's signatures for its winter tourism and a window into the city's cultural charms, attracting ice and snow lovers and tourists at home and abroad and highlights the charm of winter tourism in Ordos.