Guangxi is one of the three ethnic autonomous regions in China and the heartland to China's largest minority group,the Zhuang (13 million). It has long been known as the singing ocean. To many ethnic groups in Guangxi, singing has been their traditional way of life for centuries. Almost every ethnic group - Zhuang, Miao, Yao, Hui, Dong, Mulao and Maonan - holds an annual song festival. Their singing tradition is traceable as far back as the Tang Dynasty (618-907). One of the biggest traditional festivals is that of the Zhuang which falls on the third day of the third month of the lunar calendar. On that day, the ethnic groups join together on mountainsides or riverbanks to make happy reunions. The songs they sing are related to the lives and concerns of the common people. They make friends by singing and express their hopes and passions for happy life. In order to keep the tradition and to promote mutual understanding of the ethnic groups, Guangxi People's government holds International folk song festival since 1993 and it has been built a bridge for nationalities in Guangxi.
In 1999, approved by the Culture Ministry of China and Guangxi People’s Government, Guangxi International Folk Song Festival was renamed as Nanning International Folk Song Festival (NIFSF), which is jointly sponsored by related units of the country. Since then, in every golden Autumn, friends and guests from all over the world fly on the wings of songs across oceans and continents to the beautiful green city of Nanning to participate the annual grand global folk song gathering. They perform on the same stage, exchange views and skills, and mutually deduce a merry song that flows with ethnic, modern and global cultures.
Since 2004, NIFSF will be hold in the same period as China-ASEAN Exposition.
Nanning International Folk Song Festival is mainly composed of theme events--culture, business and trade and tourism where the cultural event includes the Opening Evening, the Ocean of Songs---cultural activities,special performances, Folk Song Competition and the International Seminar on Festival Culture and City Economic Development.
Folk singers from outside Guangxi as well as from other countries are invited to the Folk Song Festival. All of them have nherited tradition from their ancestors. Singers show their own folk songs as well as breathe new life from others. Some pop-folk songs are made by giving the songs a modern twist and they are quite popular on the streets and compus.
The Autumn in Nanning is the most beautiful and moving season.In the companion of moving songs, it is awaiting the arrival of the guests from all over the world!