Wondrous Xinjiang: Magnificent gala ushers in spring on Pamir Plateau


As the cold grip of winter loosens its hold and the earth awakens with the promise of new beginnings, residents in Tajik Autonomous County of Taxkorgan, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, welcomed the arrival of spring with lively folk dances and vibrant musical performances on the Pamir Plateau.

In celebration of the Tajik festival "Shogun Bahar," which means welcoming the spring, a music event was held in Taxkorgan on the night of March 20.

Displaying dynamic and vigorous movements, 21-year-old Ilham Saimaiti and his companions performed the group dance "Makit under the sunshine." This dance fuses several forms of folk dance, including Yangge, a traditional style from northern China that is a national intangible cultural heritage.

"We want to convey the joy and happiness of daily life through our dance," he said, catching his breath after his first performance on the plateau.

Echoing Ilham Saimaiti, Hegik Ukmat khan, a local musician playing the rawap, a stringed instrument, expressed his aspiration to connect with more people through his music.

Hegik Ukmat khan, along with 50 other musicians who played traditional and modern instruments such as the pipa, hand drum and accordion, captivated the audience with their enchanting melodies.

Moreover, at the Tiznap Village in Taxkorgan, a Tajik-style carnival also kicked off on March 21 to celebrate the festival.

Dancers clad in elaborate outfits twirled and leaped with grace on a square as the sound of hand drums and flutes echoed through the air.

Traditional activities like horse racing and goat-dragging competitions were held at the racetrack, as agile racers atop the horses captivated fascinated spectators.

For the locals, the festival is not only a celebration to welcome spring, but a time to come together, strengthen their connection to their roots, and enjoy the beauty of their shared traditions.

"I look forward to welcoming more guests to our region in the future to celebrate spring together and share in the joyous festivities," said Zulfikar Kadam, a resident of Taxkorgan.

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