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Minorities Traditional Festivals And Where To See Them   

China is a country with ethnic, cultural and language diversities. 56 nationalities coexist on one land in harmony and peace, preserving their own traditions and customs. This fully relates to traditional festivals of various ethnic groups. You even have a chance to participate in one of them during your trip to China!

Water Splashing Festival 泼水节

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Ethnic Group: Dai

Region: Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Region, Yunnan Province

When: March-April

Dai Ethnic Group living in the south of Yunnan province is close to Thailand Thai ethnic group that is why their festivals are the same. When you go in the street during Water Splashing Festival, be prepared - you will get wet immediately as all people using water guns to poor water on everybody around!

Naadam Festival那达慕

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Ethnic Group: Mongolian

Region: Inner Mongolia

When: May-June

Naadam is a traditional Mongolian festival, which origin dates back to the Mongol Empire and times of Genghis Khan. Three main events during Naadam are called “three sports”, which include wrestling, horse racing and archery. Besides sport competitions, there are bright traditional Mongolian song and dance performances.

Firebrand Festival Of The Yi Ethnic Group彝族火把节

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Ethnic Group: Yi

Region: Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan

When: June

The Firebrand Festival of the Yi ethnic group held on the 24th of the lunar calendar every June and is popular in Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan. Bai, Naxi and other ethnic groups also celebrate this festival. People worship ancestors and have a big fire evening party.

March Street  三月街

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Ethnic Group: Bai

Region: Dali, Yunnan Province

When: March

March Street is a traditional grand festival of the Bai people, popular in Dali, Yunnan and other places. March Street is held on the 15th to 21st of the lunar calendar at the foot of Dangcang Mountain, west of Dali City. At first it started with religious activities, but gradually became a trade exchange festival During the Ming and Qing dynasties. Merchants from Sichuan and Tibet came to trade here. Various dances and celebrations are performed at the same time, as well as horse racing and sport competitions. Now merchants from other regions come too to take part in the festival.

Sho Dun Festival 雪顿节

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Ethnic Group: Tibetan

Region: Tibet, some parts of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu

When: Early February, mid-April or mid-June depending on the Tibetan calendar.

This is a traditional religious festival of the Tibetan people held in Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan. During the festival people also eat yogurt, so it is also often called "Yogurt Festival". The festival is included in national intangible cultural heritage list. The traditional Sho Dun Festival begins with a Tibetan opera performance, as well as exciting yak and horse riding performances.

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