The Tatar ethnic group in China has a population of about 10,000, most of whom
live in the towns of Yining, Tacheng, and Urumqi in the Xinjiang Uygur
Autonomous Region. The Tatars historically named the "Dadan", are descended
from a branch of a Mongolian tribe, who used to inhabit the region near the
From the beginning of the 20th century, the Tatars gradually
settled in Xinjiang. Most of them were occupied as merchants. The Tatar
nationality has its own language, which belongs to Turkic branch of the Altaic
language family. However, as a result of frequent contact with the Uygur and
Kazak people, the Tatars also use Kazak or Uygur language. The Tatars' written
language is based on Arabic letters, but now they often also use Kazak and
Most of the Tatar people are adherents of Islam. Tatar
cuisine includes scones, zhuafan, pastries, beef and mutton dishes, as well as
various vegetables. Meats from pigs, donkeys, or mules are forbidden in their
diet. Tatar drinks include the beer-like "keerxima", which is made from
fermented honey, and 'Kesaile", a wine brewed from wild grapes. Tatar men
usually wear embroidered white shirts, under a black waistcoat or black robe,
with a black or black and white embroidered hat. Young people like to wear
peaked caps, and long leather shoes. Women wear white, yellow, or amaranth
pleated one-piece skirts as well as small hats, with a short 'veil' covering
the back of the head and neck. Tatar people have strong sense of musical
rhythm. Their music is full of grassland sentiment, and is accompanied by
accordion, mandolin, and violin, etc. Tatars celebrate their "Saban Festival"
(plowshare festival) each year after they finished their spring plowing.
Tatar people also celebrate Corban Festival, Almsgiving Festival and Kaizhai
Festival in line with other Islamic believers. Their favorite sports include
wrestling, horse racing, and tug of war.
The Tatar are Islamic Turkic speakers and farmers. Their diet includes round
cakes, with the outside crisp and the inside soft. They also eat cheese, dried
apricots and rice. They mostly live in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.