Tibetan Festivals

Tibetan people have their unique culture. A Tibet tour will be one of your most unforgettable experiences in your life. Here we have listed the major traditional Tibetan festivals below and you can learn interesting things about Tibetan people.

Tibetan New Year
Date: December 28-29 (Tibetan Calendar)
Tibetan New Year is the most significant festival in Tibet. Different areas have different ways to celebrate it, with Lhasa the most representative.

Butter Lantern Festival
Date: January 15 (Tibetan Calendar)
January 15 of Tibetan calendar sees the last high tide of celebrations of the Tibetan New Year. On this day, people go to temples to burn incense to worship Buddhas.

Saga Dawa Festival
Date: In April, around 15th (Tibetan Calendar)
Sagar Dawa represents April in Tibetan calendar. Buddhism believes that Sakyamuni was born, became Buddha and died in April, so the Saga Dawa Festival mainly focuses on worshipping Buddha in the inner, middle and outer parts of Lhasa.

Shoton Festival of Lhasa
"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." The traditional way of starting the Shoton Festival is to show Buddha paintings. The main contents include Tibetan operas and gala parties, as well as wonderful yak racing and horsemanship display. The Shoton Festival starts on the 30th day of the 6th month according to Tibetan calendar (usu. later half of August) and lasts five days.

Bathing Festival
Date: the first ten days of July (Tibetan Calendar)
The Bathing Festival usually falls on the first ten days of July according to Tibetan calendar. Lasting a week, it is also known as the Bathing Week. In Tibetan it is called "Gamariji," meaning Qishan star, or Venus.

Ongkor Festival (Bumper Harvest Festival)
Date: in August (Tibetan Calendar)
The Ongkor Festival is an old festival in farming areas of Tibet held in each August according to Tibetan calendar when all crops are waiting for harvest.

Horse Racing Fair and Archery Festival
Date: between June and July (Tibetan Calendar)
Horse Racing Fair is a unique festival in grazing area of Tibet. It is usually held between June and July in Tibetan calendar, when the pasture is lush, horses and cows are stout and strong. The horse racing is seen every year, but a large one is held every two or three years. It will last several days, with the longest ones over ten days. The most famous ones of them are the Kyagqen Horse Racing Art Festival of Nagqu and Darma Festival of Gyangze.

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