Most Tibetan festivals are deeply religious. In addition to annual large-scale worship rituals to Buddha and Buddhist masters, Tibetan people will also hold a series of festivities associated with religious life and agricultural production. Various festivals come one after another after Tibetan New Year. There are almost a hundred festivals in a year, some of which even last for ten days. During the festival, Tibetan people will hold a variety of folk and religious activities, where you can enjoy the carnival atmosphere. Therefore, it would be better off if travelers could visit Tibet during traditional festivals, and never miss those lively festivities and fascinating locals.
What to See
Tibetan festivals consist of religious festivals and folk ones. Religious festivals are usually held in the monasteries with large-scale chanting, dancing to God and Buddha exhibition activities. While folk festivals are for ordinary people, who will be dressed in their splendid attire. Fork festivals include dancing and singing in well-dressed costumes and traditional sports competition, horse racing, archery, lingka(picnic) and so on. Every Tibetan festival has its own characteristic and is celebrated in its unique way. The most attractive festivals are Tibetan New Year, Saga Dawa, Shoton festival, Nagqu horse racing festival, Gyantse Damar Festival and so on.
When to go
Most Tibetan festivals center around in spring and summer, including several grandest and most popular festivals, that is, Saga Dawa( lasts for a month, mainly to celebrate the birth of Buddha, enlightenment, and Nirvana); Shoton festival(lasts for a week, and with Tibetan opera performance and Buddha Thangka unfolding ceremony); Nagqu horse racing festival(horse racing, horsemanship and archery competitions on Northern Tibet grasslands). If you are planning to visit Tibet, you’d better refer to Tibetan festival calendar in advance. It will undoubtedly add a lot of wonderful unforgettable memories for your Tibet tour if you happen to come at the right time.
Travel to Tibet during Tibetan New Year, the most important festival for Tibetans, you will get a wonderful Tibetan culture experience and have a great time with local people. During the festival, people celebrate by some ancient ceremonies, dancing,
During this Tibetan festival tour, you will have chance to see local Tibetan people celebrate the death anniversary of Tsongkapa. 25 October according to Tibetan lunar calendar is considered as the death anniversary of Tsongkapa.
During Gyantse Damar festival tour, you will enjoy an exciting time of horse racing, archery competation, horsemanship display. Before arriving Gyantse, you will have a chance to visit the world famous Potala Palace and other famed tourit sites.
Tashilhunpo Festival, also known as Buddha Exhibition Festival in Tashilhunpo Monastery enjoys high popularity among local Tibetans and tourists. The festival erupt for three days in the middle of the fifth lunar Tibetan month.
Travel to Tibet during the Nagqu Horse Racing Festival held in August every year, is full of interesting activities. After two days of Lhasa sightseeing, take a train to Nagqu to have a good time with local people.
Experience the most famous Tibetan Horse Racing Festival in Yushu of Qinghai. During this festival, interesting activities will be held, such as horse races, yak races, tugs of war, eating and drinking, dancing and singing performances.
The festival of Saga Dawa marks the enlightenment of Sakyamuni, and occurs on the full moon day of the fourth Tibetan month. Saga dawa is particularly popular time to visit mount Kailash as Tibetan from every parts of Tibet gather in Darchen.
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