Regional Naadam festival kicks off in N. China

Regional Naadam festival kicks off in N. China

Horsemen ride during the annual Nadam Fair of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in Hohhot, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, July 23, 2016. Nadam, Mongolian for entertainment or games, used to be a traditional sports meeting held by the Mongolian people to celebrate their harvest. Inner Mongolia government has been hosting the fair annually since 1990 to boost tourism and communicate Mongolian culture. [Photo: Xinhua]

More than 5,000 ethnic Mongolians and tourists celebrated the start of the normadic Naadam festival on Saturday in Hohhot, capital of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, with traditional dancing, fire worship ritual and a horse riding show.

Nealy 1,000 competitiors from around the region will take part in the traditional Mongolian sports items such as horse racing, wrestling, archery as well as Mongolian chess in the following three days.

About 600 ethnic Mongolians wearing traditional costumes highlighted the opening ceremony, which included a horse head string instrument performance and a traditional dancing show.

The Naadam festival, a major holiday for ethnic Mongolians featuring Mongolian sports, has been held every summer since the 17th century, mainly in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, when the grasslands are at their most lush.