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Most Updated 2017 Tibetan Festival Calendar, Use It to Plan Your Tibet Tour and Enjoy Tibetan Festivals

February,14 2017 BY Lobsang Tsering 0 COMMENTS

Closely related with religions, Tibetan festivals are always endowed with various legends and stories. This kind of mystery has attracted countless people to come to explore Tibet. Throughout the year, you'll find that traditional festivals with strong local characteristics are celebrated every month. As long as you travel in Tibet, from eastern Nyingchi to western Ngari, from southern Shanna to northern Nagqu, you'll experience a totally different culture and custom. In order to help tourists to make an earlier 2017 Tibet travel plan, Tibet Vista has already worked out the latest Tibet Festival Calendar 2017 for your reference.

2017 Tibet Tour Calendar and Festivals

Tibetan Festivals Tibetan Calendar 2017 Solar Calendar Active Region Related Tour Itinerary
Tibetan New Year Jan. 1st Feb.27th TAR 5 Days Tibet New Year Festival Tour
Butter Lantern Festival Jan. 15th Mar.12th Jokhang Monastery Contact us to tailor your own trip
Saga Dawa Festival Apr.15th Jun.9th TAR 15 Days Tour Kailash in Saga Dawa Festival
Tashilhunpo Thangka Festival May.14th Jul.8th Tashilhunpo Monastery 8 Days Tashilhunpo Festival Tour
Linka Festival May.15th Jul.9th Lhasa Contact us to tailor your own trip
Chokor Duchen Festival Jun.4th Jul.27th TAR Contact us to tailor your own trip
Ganden Thangka Unveiling Festival Jun.9th Aug.1st Gandan Monastery Contact us to tailor your own trip
Gyantse Dharma Festival Jun.14th Aug.6th Gyantse 7 Days Gyantse Damar Festival Tour
Shoton Festival Jul.1st Aug.22nd Lhasa 5 Days Shoton Festival Experience Tour
Buddha's Descent Day Sept.22nd Nov.10th TAR Contact us to tailor your own trip
Gongbu New Year Festival Oct.1st Nov.19th Nyingchi Contact us to tailor your own trip
Palden Lhamo Festival Oct.15th Dec.3rd Lhasa Contact us to tailor your own trip
Tsonkhapa Butter Lamp Festival Oct.25th Dec.12th Lhasa 5 Days Gaden Ngachen Chenmo Festival Tour

Tibetan New Year Festival, Feb.27,2017

Tibetan New Year, also known as Losar Festival, is the most important festival on Tibetan calendar. As a traditional Tibetan festival, it would be celebrated by all the monks and folks. Several days before, people have begun to buy dried goods and sweet candies in the new year market. On the new year's day, Tibetans would put green barley shoots, kasai, goat head, qiema box and other auspicious things in front of shrine, indicating the good health and rich harvest in the coming year. On the second day of the new year, friends and relatives begin to pay a visit to each other. It's common to see the hospitable family greeting the guests with white hada and highland barley wine. The whole new year celebrations will last for two weeks.

Tibetan New Year FestivalTibetan Losar Festival this year will fall on Feb.27th, 2017.

The 5 Days Tibet New Year Festival Tour will offer tourists a great chance to experience the most authentic culture and customs. During those hilarious days, you can not only taste some new year foods but also participate in the various festive activities, like traditional Guozhuang Dance, classic Tibetan opera, sport competitions, etc. Tibet Losar Festival this year will fall on Feb.27th, 2017. If you are curious about this happiest festival, it is time to contact us to make plan for Tibet Losar Tour.

Butter Lantern Festival, Mar.12, 2017

Butter Lantern Festival, celebrated on the 15th day of the first month in Tibetan calendar, is the final climax of the Tibetan New Year. It is also the last day of Great Prayer Festival. During the daytime, people would go to the temple and make offerings to the Buddhas. Various kinds of timber frames with butter sculptures shaped in the image of deities, figures, flowers, trees, birds and beasts will be exhibited along the streets of Lhasa city. When the night falls, hundreds of thousands of butter lanterns will be lighted up at the same time, making Lhasa city become a dazzling world. During this grand festival, the best place to go is Barkhor Street and Jokhang Temple. Here you'll find people have totally immersed in a sea of joy. Besides appreciating butter lanterns, you must be invited to sing and dance with them, which will definitely add a new fresh feeling to your Tibet tour!

Butter Lantern FestivalButter Lantern Festival

Saga Dawa Festival, Jun.9, 2017

Saga Dawa Festival, a traditional Tibetan Buddhist festival, is celebrated on April 15th in Tibetan calendar to commemorate Sakyamuni's birth, enlightenment and nirvana. Most Tibetans believe that it would accumulate lots of merits on this particular day by giving generosity, stopping killing animals, eating meats, etc. And a variety of religious activities will be organized in this month, like cham dancing, animal release ceremony, etc. Strolling around Lhasa City, you'll encounter hundreds of pilgrims circling around Barkor Street, Jokhang Monastery and Potala Palace. What's more, tourists can also experience Saga Dawa Festival at Mt.Kailash. Here you can catch the chance to join the Kailash Kora with local Tibetans and Indian pilgrims, and pay a visit to the ancient Tibetan Buddhist monasteries en route.

Saga Dawa Festival at Mount KailashSaga Dawa Festival at Mount Kailash

Tashilhunpo Monastery Festival, Jul.8, 2017

Tashilhunpo Monastery Festival, also known as Tashilhunpo Thangka Festival and Tashilhunpo Buddha Exhibition Festival, has already had a history of more than five hundred years. It usually lasts from May 14th to 16th in Tibetan calendar. In this three-day-long festival, three different Buddha Thangkas will be displayed respectively so as to remind people to cherish the memory of the past, enjoy their happy lives and hold expectation for the the future. Just a kind reminder here, those thangkas and religious events can be only available during this big festival. Check more details at 8 Days Tashilhunpo Festival Tour

Tashilhunpo Buddha Exhibition FestivalTashilhunpo Buddha Exhibition Festival

Linka Festival, Jul.9, 2017

Linka Festival is celebrated on May 15th in Tibetan calendar for Guru Rinpochen's victory over all the demons and evil spirits in Tibet. On this day, most Tibetans would dress in their festive costumes and bring highland barley wine, butter tea and other delicious foods to Linkas nearby. Here they would put up tents, enjoy singing and dancing and totally relax themselves in the great nature. Sometimes, the folk artists would be invited to perform for this traditional festival.

Linka FestivalLinka Festival

Chokor Duchen Festival, Jul.27, 2017

Chokor Duchen Festival, also named as Drukwa Tsezhi or Buddha's Sermon Festival, is held to celebrate Buddha's first sermon on the 4th day of the 6th month in Tibetan calendar. To commemorate this festival, people would put on the brand new clothes one day before and pray for the god blessing at the nearby temples. Here you'll feel the strong religious atmosphere. You can join the locals to offer the sacrifices to the gods, burn the incense, light the butter lamps for the family and friends, etc.

Chokor Duchen FestivalChokor Duchen Festival

Ganden Thangka Unveiling Festival, Aug.1st, 2017

Ganden Thangka Unveiling Festival, a big religious festival for Tibetans, is held from June 15th to 17th in Tibetan calendar to commemorate the enlightenment of Tsongkhapa, a well-known Tibetan religious philosopher. During this festival, Ganden Monastery, one of the three great monasteries in Lhasa, will exhibit 23 thangka paintings on the wall outside the monastery. Here you can go with the locals to write down your and family members' names on the colorful prayer flags and hang them around on the hills. It's a traditional way to pray good luck for them.

Ganden Thangka Unveiling FestivalGanden Thangka Unveiling Festival

Gyantse Dharma Festival, Aug.6, 2017

Gyantse Dharma Festival, also called as Gyantse Horse Racing Festival, is a unique traditional festival in Gyangze, Tibet. It's said that the first horse racing competition was held to celebrate the completion of Pelkor Chode Monastery and One-Hundred-Thousand-Buddha Tower. Since then, it's annually held in the sixth month of Tibetan calendar. At that time, people would dress in their ethnic clothes and gather at the vast grassland to participate in all kinds of interesting sport games such as horse racing, wrestling, tug-of-war, long jumping and so on. Besides, tourists can also attend the exhibition and trading fair held by locals, observe Tibetan opera performance, and join in the traditional singing and dancing. Check out the detailed itinerary of 7 Days Gyantse Damar Festival Tour

Gyantse Dharma FestivalGyantse Dharma Festival

Shoton Festival, Aug.22nd, 2017

Shoton Festival is one of the most solemn, largest and attractive festivals in Tibet. Shoton in Tibetan language means yogurt banquet. Thus based on this explanation, Shoton Festival is also called as Yogurt Festival, and later evolved into Tibetan Opera Festival. It usually falls on the first day of the seventh month in Tibetan calendar, lasting four or five days.

Shoton FestivalTibetan opera performed in Shoton Festival

According to the provisions of Tibetan Buddhism Gelug Sect (Yellow Sect), the lamas at all size of the monasteries were not allowed to go out in late June to avoid killings. After those days, the lamas went down the mountain and the farmers and herdsmen begun to serve them with yogurt. That's the origin of Shoton Festival. Nowadays, you can join our Shoton Festvial tour to enjoy a big feast of Tibetan performances in Norbulingka, Buddha exhibition in Drepung Monastery, tasty local food, etc.

Buddha's Descent Day, Nov.10th, 2017

Buddha Sakyamuni's Descent Day, also known as Lhabab Duchen Festival, is celebrated to observe the descent of Buddha Sakyamuni from the heaven back to the earth on September 22nd in Tibetan calendar. According to the local custom, people would paint the outside walls of their own houses or the temples on this special day to greet the Buddha's return.

Buddha's Descent DayVarious religious activities will be held on Buddha's Descent Day.

Gongbu New Year Festival, Nov.19th, 2017

Gongbu New Year Festival is a unique festival for Nyingchi, Tibet. Legend has it that a long time ago, Tibet has undergone through a heavy invasion, but the locals were not so strong to fight the enemies. To defend their motherland altogether, Gongbu people formed a patriotic army to support them. But it's already been September and soldiers worried that they cannot spend Losar Festival with their families. Thus, the Gongbu King decided to celebrate new year festival at early October. Compared with Tibet New Year, Gongbu New Year has its own festive characteristics and tourists can attend the beating ghost ceremony, treat the dog with a fancy dinner, eat Jieda at local family, etc.

Gongbu New Year FestivalJieda, a special food for Gongbu New Year Festival

Palden Lhamo Festival, Dec.3rd, 2017

Palden Lhamo Festival, also known as Tianmu Festival or Fairy Festival, is celebrated on October 15th in Tibetan calendar. It's a big day for Tibetan females in Lhasa city. In the early morning, girls and women will dress up to burn the leafs and branches at Barkhor Street, then make pilgrimages in Jokhang Temple, present hada to the goddess and make their own wishes. Particularly, they'll have a privilege on this day to ask for money or gifts from males. And those men would be very generous to give out money so that they can be endorsed with good fortune in the coming new year.

Tibetan Fairy FestivalTibetan Fairy Festival is a great occasion for Tibetan women.

Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp Festival, Dec.12th, 2017

Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp Festival, also called as Gaden Ngachen Chenmo Festival, is held to celebrate the parinirvana of Tsongkapa on October 25th in Tibetan calendar. On this solemn festival, hundreds of thousands of butter lamps would be lighted up in and out of Tibetan monasteries, local homes and sacred altars throughout the night. You can participate in our Gaden Nagachen Chenmo Festival tour to experience Tibetans' deepest respect to Tsongkapa and dig deeper into Tibetan religious customs.

Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp FestivalTsongkhapa Butter Lamp Festival

Actually, Tibet has more than 100 festivals throughout a year. I just can't to list all them out. Please check out the 2017 Tibet tour calendar and festivals, then tell us your favorite one, and our travel experts will help you to tailor a perfect festival tour to experience the essence of Tibetan culture!

Lobsang Tsering

About the Author - Lobsang Tsering

I am a tour guide in Tibet an was Born in Kham Tibet, I am the father of 2 little girls, bachelor's degree. I have more than 7-years experience of being a tour guide in Tibet. I am a warm, friendly, knowledgeable and attractive guy.

Email me about your travel idea


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