Tibet Tour in July and August 2017— Festivals and Events
As the top of Tibet’s peak tourism season, July and August of Tibet offer tourists both fascinating picturesque natural scenery and rich Tibetan festive activities. Especially Shoton festival, the most important festival throughout Tibet, attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world to Lhasa. Making a Tibet tour in July and August can experience profound Tibetan culture and the festal atmosphere of Tibet. The grassland of northern Tibet also welcomes its golden time with thousands of flowers in bloom and blue Namtso lake like a blue pearl on the Tibetan plateau. The annual Nagchu Horse Racing Festival held in August attracts thousands of Tibetans and tourists to the grassland to have fun together.
July and August are also considered as the best time to visit Tibet because the weather is fine and you can go anywhere of Tibet. But it is best to book train/air tickets in advance since it might be difficult to get one due to the large demand.
Festivals in July and AugustThe most popular Festivals (you can see and experience)
The Tibetan Festival, Universal Prayer Day or Dzam Ling Chi Sang is a Tibetan Buddhist festival celebrated on the 15th day of the fifth month in Tibetan Calendar. It is a time for spiritual cleansing. On the Universal Prayer Day, Tibetan people go to the tops of local mountains to burn incense and hang prayer flags. Thus, it’s also called as World Incense Festival, which will fall on July 9 in 2017.
Dzam Ling Chi Sang was originally meant to commemorate Guru Rinpoche's subjugation of the local deities and the founding of Samye Monastery. In Lhasa, there is the spectacle of large amounts of 'Sang' being burned up on the hills of Chakpori, Bumpari (on the southern side of the Kyi-chu) and Gephelri ( behind Drepung Monastery ), etc. 'Sang' is a Tibetan 'ritual fireworks'. There is a variety in selection of material for Weisang, like branches pine and cypress, leaves of herbs such as Artemisia argyi and heath.
Yushu Horse Racing Festival held in Qinghai is a traditional Tibetan Festival in Amdo Tibetan Area. The festival is usually celebrated in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Region from July 25 to August 1 each year.
Horse Racing is quite popular in Tibetan Area. Yushu Horse Racing Festival is one of the top three horse racing festivals in Tibetan area. The other two are Ngachu Horse Racing Festival and Litang Horse Racing Festival. The Yushu Horse Race Festival takes advantage of the warm weather, so the valley floor has lush green grass suitable for long-distance horse races and tent camping.
Chokor Duchen Festival is one of the four great seasonal festivals (Losar, Saga Dawa, Chokor Duchen and Lhabab Duchen) celebrated by all Tibetan Buddhists. During those times, it is believed that the effects of positive or negative actions are multiplied ten million times.
Chokhor means “Prayer Wheel” or “Dharma Wheel”, the common religious objects in Tibet, and Duchen means “great occasion” in Tibetan. This festival held in Lhasa on the 4th day of the 6th month of Tibetan calendar celebrates Buddha’s first sermon at Sarnath near Varanasi in India. Many pilgrims climb the Mt. Gyambu Utse, the peak behind Drepung Monastery, and also the ridge from Pabonka to the Dode Valley, to burn the incense and hang prayer flags. The festival is also called Drukwa Tsezhi.
Tradition has it that Buddha was not convinced through his own reflections that teaching what he had discovered through his meditations would be of any benefit to others. It took the intercession of the great gods, Brahma and Indra, to persuade him to do so for the benefit of all sentient beings. The Buddha then addressed the five people who had been his companions during the time spent with the forest yogins concerning the Truth of Suffering, and the other Noble Truths.
As an important religious Tibet festival with a history over 500 years, Tashilhunpo Monastery Festival, also known as Buddha Exhibition Festival in Tashilhunpo Monastery enjoys high popularity among local Tibetans and tourists. The Tashilhunpo Thangka Festival usually erupts for three days in the middle of the fifth lunar Tibetan month, from May 14th-16th in Tibetan Calendar every year. Different Buddhas are exhibited on each day during this festival.
Events culminate with the unveiling of a huge four-storey-tall Thangka (religious painting) on a tower behind the Tashilunpo monastery. The whole exposition zone spreads over 1,000 meters, decorated by silk and satins.
The Ganden Festival is held on the 15th day of the sixth lunar month of Tibetan Calendar in memory of the enlightenment of Tsongkhapa, a well-known Tibetan religious philosopher. During this festival, Ganden Monastery would display its 25 holiest relics, which are normally locked away. A large offering ceremony accompanies the unveiling.
The highlight is that Ganden's monks would hang enormous thangka from the special wall at the northern corner of the monastery where it can be seen from the surrounding countryside. Thousands of people would circle the monastery, enter inside to view the Buddhas, pray, and get blessed, and then they go outside to sit on the hill or try to get close to the wall where the big and vividly woven thangka is displayed. Some poor people would walk for weeks to get to the place before sunrise that day.
Litang Horse Racing Festival in Kham Tibetan Area is a traditional Tibetan festival held on from August 1 to August 7 every year in Litang County, Sichuan province. The Litang Horse Racing Festival is the most celebrated holiday in the Eastern Tibetan Plateau. Khampas from all over the Tibetan Plateau come to trade, celebrate and ride. Khampas are nomads that are Tibetan and are usually herders.
During the Litang Horse Racing festival horsemanship and horse races are held upon the Tibetan Ponies. These small and fast horses are raced and shown to see who owns the best horse. The horse festival is significant because it helps to establish socio-economic hierarchy in Khampas who participate. A lot of honor and prestige is placed on who owns the best horse. A very large tourism business has been built up on adventure trips and tours provided by companies who cater to individuals who are interested in horses and horsemanship. These companies travel around Tibet taking groups of tourists throughout the different villages hosting horse festivals. This benefits the nomads' economy as well as the rest of China's economy.
We know that August is the high season of Tibet tour, with ceremony of the hilarious Tibetan traditional festival Shoton and Horse Racing Festival. But there is another great festival in Tibet also falling in August, that is, Xiangxiong Cultural Festival in Ngari where you can visit the relics of Guge Kingdom, holy Mount Kailash, sacred Lake Manasarovar, spectacular Zhada Earth Forest, beautiful Panggongcuo Lake and so on. The Xiangxiong festival usually lasts for the whole August.
Xiangxiong, also Shang Shung, is an ancient culture and kingdom of western Tibet that dates back more than 1300 years. According to historical records, Xiangxiong Kingdom once dominated central and western Tibet, and its culture has influenced the philosophies and practices of Tibetan Buddhism. Now, the local government has established a tourism festival based on its rich cultural heritage.
The Nagqu Horse Racing Festival is the grandest annual event in northern Tibet. Tens of thousands of herdmen gather on the vast grassland dotted with tents to enjoy the horse riding competition, yak race, tug of war, stone-lifting and Tibetan operas.
August is the golden season for tourists to sightsee the vast and beautiful green grassland covered by flower. During this time, the grass is the tallest and the weather is most accommodating to those who enjoy the great outdoors. This festival is also an exhibition and trading of local stuff among Tibetan people.
Few days before the opening ceremony of Horsing Race Festival, traditionally dressed and decorated Tibetans living on this immense grassland gather at Naqu County to set up their tents around horse racing track, hundreds of tents stand and are packed there within a few days, as if a crowed temporary city suddenly appeared on grassland.
Shoton Festival is one of the grandest traditional festivals for all Tibetan people. It is a celebration to mark the end of the monks 'Yarné, their hundred day summer retreat. This festival starts on the last day of the sixth month in Tibetan Calendar and lasts for a few days. "Shoton" in Tibetan means sour milk banquet. As Tibetan operas are performed and Buddha paintings are exhibited at this time, it is also called "Tibetan Opera Festival" or "Buddha Exhibition Festival".
Early in the morning, Drepung and Sera monasteries will hang a piece of huge thangkha and then after that most of the Tibetans will go to Norbu lingkha to watch Tibetan opera dancing and then spend the rest of the time with their families by having a picnics. The festival is a great occasion for both Tibetans and tourists.
Tibet Small Group Tours Departing in July and AugustFixed departure join-in group
Private & Festival Tibet Tours in July & August
Tour Route:Xining - Tongren - Madoi - Yushu - Xining
Tour Route:Lhasa - Nagqu - Lhasa
Tour Route:Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - Tsedang
Tour Route:Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse- Lhasa
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