Tibetan New Year Festival, also known as Losar Festival, is the most important festival for all the Tibetans. It also offers a great opportunity for tourists to experience the authentic customs. When in Rome, do as Romans do. In this post, I’ll show you how to celebrate Tibet Losar Festival like locals.
1. Making dumplings with Tibetans on New Year’s Eve
Just image the scene that you are sitting around with the local family and making dumplings with new friends. Mingled with the smell of the food, the festive atmosphere will make you feel like a member of the big family. It is the experience that you can only get from our Tibet New Year Festival Tour.
2. Lighting butter lamps for the whole family on Tibetan New Year Day
In Lhasa new year, you’ll see the simplest faith, the sweetest smile and the devoutest pilgrims. On the first day of Tibet New Year, the best place to go is Jokhang Temple. Most locals and tourists would burn the incense and light the butter lamps for the healthy life of the whole family. The sincere praying for peace and happiness must be the best gift for the coming new year.
3. Accepting the new year baptism at Potala Palace
With the background of the blue sky and white clouds, the sacred Potala Place would make your eyes filled with tears. The slope into the palace is like a long, zigzag mountain road connecting heaven and earth. It seems that all the blessings would fall on you once finishing the over 900 steps. At usual, you need to pay 200CNY for visiting Potala Palace. Sometimes, the price would be much higher for the limited tickets. While in Tibet winter, it becomes relatively easy to obtain the ticket at half price.
4. Enjoying the holy spring with local Tibetans
According to the records of Tibetan Buddhism, Guru Padmasambhava once bathed in the Riduo Hot Spring and called it as holy water. Since few visitors know it, most people you come across here must be local Tibetans. Compared with the commercialized Yangbajing hot spring, Riduo hot spring will offer you a more natural and authentic experience. Due to its location, I suggest you to bring thick clothes for the chilly morning and evening. See more details at Top 8 Hot Springs in Tibet Winter Tour
5. Waking up with a cup of sweet tea on a new year morning
In Tibet, one of the best ways to communicate with the locals is to visit the teahouses. As the first ray of sunshine spreads across Lhasa city, you can get up slowly to Tibetan teahouse and pay one dollar for a pot of sweet tea to warm up your heart and stomach. Some tea houses would also offer Tibetan noodles and steamed dumplings for clients. Here you will gain a microcosm of Tibetan daily life.
6. Worshiping the Buddha as the locals do
No matter where you are, in the famous monasteries or the unknown temples, you’ll encounter pious believers from every corner of Tibet. Some are spinning the prayer wheel in hand, some are making prostration repeatedly, and others are chanting Om Mani Padme Hum. Holding piety in mind, you can follow them into the temple and worship the Buddhas.
7. Enjoying the sunshine along Lhasa River
On weekends, Lhasa people would like to have a picnic or camp along Lhasa River. Maybe you don’t have enough time to do that. But I still advise you to set aside some time to capture the stunning sunset at Lhasa River. The scenery in winter is much more beautiful than that in summer. With turquoise river flowing through the mountains, you can take the chance to appreciate migratory birds.
8. Trying some authentic cuisine in Lhasa New Year
Deji Road, Baerku Road and Beijing Middle Road are the top three places to explore Tibetan traditional foods. Wandering around the back alley of Lhasa city, you must be surprised by the numerous tasty snacks. In the authentic Tibetan restaurant, you can enjoy the blood sausage, fried lamb chops, steamed buns, carrot stew yak meat, etc. Tibetan hot pot becomes extremely popular during this hilarious festival!
9. Appreciating Yamdroktso Lake in Tibet winter
Besides touring Lhasa, there are also many other nearby attractions that worth a visit. Surrounded by the thousands of miles of snow mountains, Yamdroktso Lake is as tranquil as a blue mirror. Here you can’t find a trace of ripples but a dazzling winter fairyland.
10. Visiting Samye Monastery, the first monastery in Tibet
Samye Monastery was founded in the 8th century by King Trisong Detsen. Different from other temples in Tibet, Samye Monastery has perfectly integrated Han, Tibetan and Indian elements altogether. Strolling around Samye Monastery, you’ll hear the bells sounding in the distance and chanting voice hunting in the air. The ancient architecture and solemn atmosphere will help you gain a kind of inner peace. In the early morning or late afternoon, you can also climb the hill to catch a panoramic view of Samye Monastery and the Brahmaputra River.
Of course, there are still many other interesting things to do during Tibetan New Year. I just can’t list them all out here. The best way to experience what I have talked above is touring Tibet by yourself. Tibet Losar Festival this year will fall on Feb.27,2017 and last 2 weeks. Tibet Vista is ready here to work out an unique Tibet festival trip for you!