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Nadun is a traditional festival held by the Monguor people (known as the Tu Zu in Chinese). The festival's name resembles the Nadam festival of the Mongols, but different in format and content.


The Monguor “Nadun” and the MongolianNadam” are special nouns designated to an annual festival and reflect their shared origins from the northern nomadic people, such as the Xianbei, who were recorded to have “one major gathering every spring for leisure and fun”.[1] Whereas the Mongolian Nadam preserved the nomadic features of horse race, wrestling, and archery, the Monguor Nadun has encoded their history through masked dance performances and presents as an annual military drill combined with joyful celebrations of harvest. It is specifically held in the Sanchuan/Guanting area in Minhe County, located on the north bank of the Yellow River, at the easternmost point of Qinghai, as the River flows eastward into Gansu, which holds the most densely populated Monguor settlement today.[2]


Held by villages in turn along the Yellow River, the Nadun celebration circles through the entire Sanchuan/Guanting region in Minhe, the Nadun festival is inherently tied to agricultural work. It functions as the Monguor form of “Thanksgiving” in the Western culture and expresses gratitude for an abundance of harvest blessed by Heaven referred to as “Tiangere.” The event lasts over two months, starting from the twelfth of the seventh month to the fifteenth of the ninth month by the Chinese lunar calendar, and spans for a total of 63 days, giving rise to its eponym as “the world’s longest festival.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ Ma, Changshou [馬長壽] (1962). Wuhuan yu Xianbei [The Wuhuan and Xianbei] 烏桓與鮮卑. Shanghai [上海], Shanghai ren min chu ban she [Shanghai People's Press] 上海人民出版社. p. 175-176.
  2. ^ Stuart, Kevin and Jun Hu (1993). "That all may prosper: the Monguor Nadun of the Guanting/Sanchuan Region, Qinghai, China." Anthropos 88: 15-27.
  3. ^ Lü, Xia [呂霞] (2001). Xin ji gu tu, peng cheng wan li [Heart tied to the homeland, the eagle flies thousands of miles] 心系故土, 鹏程万里. Zhongguo tu zu [China's Tu Nationality] 中国土族. 4: 27-29. p. 28.
  4. ^ Hu, Fang [胡芳] (2004). "Da hao--Tu xiang 'nadun' [The Great Tu 'Nadun'] 大好--土乡'纳顿'." Zhongguo tu zu [China's Tu Nationality] 中国土族 22(2): 14-16. p. 14.
  5. ^ Ma, Daxue [马达学] (2005). "Qinghai tu zu 'Nadun' wen hua xian xiang jie du [An Interpretation of the cultural phenomenon of 'Nadun' of the Tu Nationality in Qinghai] 青海土族'纳顿'文化现象解读." Qinghai shi fan da xue xue bao [Journal of Qinghai Normal University] 青海师范大学学报 108(1): 79-84. p. 79.