How to Celebrate Shoton Festival
The annual Shoton Festival (also Yogurt Festival) in Tibet falls on the last day of the sixth month in Tibetan Calendar. The celebration of this grand festival usually lasts for a whole week. Shoton Festival will be held in Lhasa with a series of theme activities, including Buddha exhibition, horse racing, Tibetan opera performance, singing and dancing, etc.
Buddha exhibition on Shoton Festival
Buddha exhibition is a main and important activity on Shoton Festival. In the dawn, a lot of Lama of Drepung Monastery spread out the giant "Thanka" of Buddha. When the "Thanka" is spread out, the sun would be blazing through the morning mist whether the weather is sunny or overcast, and shines at the giant 'Thanka" of Buddha, which is called the combination of deities and mankind. Then thousands of followers hold their breath and feel the baptism of their hearts. Next, horns blare, all Lama read the scripture and pray, followers present Khada to the "Thanka", and touch the "Thanka" by forehead to show devotion and pray for safety and happiness.
Horse racing on Shoton Festival
As a traditional and spectator sport in Tibetan area, horse race is a also an exciting activity on Shoton Festival, presenting wonderful performance of traditional horsemanship, collecting ornamental, sports, entertaining together. The annual horse race performance is the favorite among Tibetans, and has become a major part full of brilliance. There are many items including single-person-single-horse, archery on horse, double-men-double-horse, shooting on horse, flower -basket-picking on horse and so on. These breathtaking and cliffhanging performances display athletes' superb technique and excellent psychological quality, and have been well received by the public and tourists in attendance.
Tibetan Opera Performance
Tibetan Opera Performance is an essential event to celebrate Shoton Festival in Tibet. Tibetan opera show starts from 11 o 'clock every morning to the night at Norbulingka and Zongjiaolukang (Longwangtan Park). Due to the limited time, performers have extracted the essence part of Tibetan opera and all the people are indulging in the festive atmosphere.
Tibetans are having picnic at Lingka nearby.
Tibetan people also like to spend Shoton Festival at Lingka (traditional garden). During this period, all the people, men or women, young or old, dress in their gorgeous clothes and swarm into Lingkas. Colorful tents are set up everywhere, and various kinds of Tibetan foods and drinks are served on their carpet, like tsampa, yogurt, yak-butter tea, etc. Then they walk into relatives' and friends' tents, and treat each other with highland barley wine, singing and dancing throughout the night.
With more and more new ideas being added in celebrating the great festival for Tibetan people, Shoton Festival becomes more and more attractive both at home and aboard. If time allows, you are highly recommended to tailor your trip with Shoton Festival to experience what Tibetan festival is like. Please feel free to contact us for more info.