Xibe ethnic group celebrates Xiqian Festival
The Xibe Ancient Town, a tourist attraction in Xinjiang's Qapqal Xibe autonomous county
Xiqian Festival is a traditional festival for the Chinese Xibe ethnic group to commemorate the successful conclusion of the westward movement of their ancestors to cultivate guard border areas.
On the 18th day of the fourth Chinese lunar month in 1764, 3,275 people living on the Songnen Plain and Hulunbuir Grasslands, including 1,018 government officials and soldiers together with their families, were called up by the Qing government to embark on a long journey to the Yili area of Xinjiang.
To mark this historic event, this day became Xiqian Festival, or the Festival of Westward Move. Xibe people gather every year on this day to celebrate through temple fairs, archery, wrestling, horse racing, folk dance, and music competitions. It was recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2006.
With the development of tourism in recent years, Xiqian Festival celebrations in Qapqal Xibe autonomous county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has evolved and now offers a diverse range of activities such as opening ceremonies, cultural performances, poetry recitations, and food tasting. This festival is now a time for all ethnic groups to come together, enjoy the festivities, and share in the celebration of Xibe culture.