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Tibet Major Festivals

Update time: 2018-04-20 Editor: 0 440
The Tibet Autonomous Region is located in the southwestern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is not only a vast area with spectacular landforms and abundant resources, but also because it is one of the five ethnic minority autonomous regions of China.

The Tibet Autonomous Region is located in the southwestern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is not only a vast area with spectacular landforms and abundant resources, but also because it is one of the five ethnic minority autonomous regions of China. Tibetan autonomous institutions also include Tibetan tradition festivals such as the Tibetan New Year and the Sho Dun Festival are included in the holiday of the autonomous region. When is the corresponding time for major festivals in Tibet? What are the exciting moments worth a visit?


1. Tibetan New Year


Date: The 1st to 15th day of the first Tibetan month (around Jan. to Feb.)

藏历新年

The Tibetan New Year is a traditional festival for Tibetan people. The significance and form of the festival are similar to the Chinese Lunar New Year. During the festival, local people will clean up their houses, make food and drinks, and visit friends and relatives. At the New Year's Eve, Tibetan families will get together and have a big meal, and then wish an auspicious new year.


2. Sargadarwa Festival

Time: The 15th day of the fourth Tibetan month (around May)

萨噶达瓦节

The Sargadarwa Festival, also known as the Buddha's Day of Auspiciousness, is associated with three important events in the Buddha's life: birth, enlightenment, and nirvana. For Buddhist believers, it is an extraordinary and sacred day.

It is said that the Sargadarwa Festival will last for a full month. During this period, Tibetans who believe in Tibetan Buddhism must commemorate the Buddha in their minds in the form of turning prayers, burning incense, eating vegetarian food, and releasing captured animals. Now, after a long period of development, the Sargadarwa Festival has gradually evolved into a mass festival for sightseeing and to wish for the harvest.


3. Sho Dun Festival

Time: The 30th day of the sixth Tibetan month (around August)

雪顿节

Every year on the 30th day of the sixth Tibetan month, thousands of people flock to the monastery to offer yogurt to the 5th Dalai Lama and the monks of Drepung Monastery, in order to request a blessing of longevity and good harvest. The nearby Tibetan opera team and the Wild Yak dance team also came for performances. Since then, it has become a fixed festival with even more abundant content called "Sho Dun Festival."

As the holiday approaches, a bright tent city will emerge overnight in Norbulingka and the surrounding woods. Several lively festival streets will also be formed. Almost all of Lhasa will move into this green world. Everyone singing and dancing in the wild life, made it the liveliest day in Lhasa.


4. Ongkor Festival

Time: Around the seventh and eighth Tibetan month

望果节

Ongkor Festival is for Tibetan farmers to celebrate their harvest. It is popular in Lhasa, Shigatse and Shannan. The specific date of the festival may change according to the farming seasons and are usually held two or three days before the harvest of highland barley.

It is said that the " Ongkor Festival" has a history of more than 1,500 years. On the first morning of the festival, when the sun shining on the golden barley fields, the farmers holding barley and marching around the farmland. On the front is the team of lamas and old farmers. They are holding high statues of Buddha and carrying scriptures, appreciating the heaven brought by the heaven.


5. Bathing Festival

Time: The 6th to 12th day of the Seventh Tibetan month (around August)

The Bathing Festival is a unique festival for the Tibetan people with a history of at least seven or eight hundred years. During the seven days, from the baby to the elderly, they all have to go to the river for bathing. This has become a traditional custom of urban and rural Tibetan people.

According to Buddhism, the water on Tibetan plateau has eight advantages: Sweet, cool, soft, light, clear, not stinky, do not harm the throat and do not hurt the stomach. Therefore, the Seventh month was known as the best time for bathing.


6. Fairy Festival

​Time: The 15th day of the tenth Tibetan month (around November)

仙女节

The Fairy Festival, also known as the "Lhamo Festival", is a traditional folk festival in Tibet. Every year on the 15th of the tenth Tibetan month, starting from 5:00 a.m., thousands of Tibetan religious believers hold Hada and highland barley wine to Jokhang Monastery to worship the Palden Lhamo (a Tibetan goddess) and Sontzen Gampo.

Now in Lhasa, this day has evolved into a holiday for Tibetan women. They will dress up in early morning and then go to Lhasa's Barkhor Street for praying events, and then go to the Jokhang Monastery to offer Hada for the goddess.


7. Lighting Festival

Time: The 25th day of the tenth Tibetan month (around December)

燃灯节

The Lighting Festival is a celebration of the activities of the Buddhist reformer, the founder of the Gelug Sect, and the death of Master Tsongkhapa. All temples, monasteries and families belonging to the sect must light the butter lamp on the altars and prayer halls, and the lamps must be stayed up for all night.

On the evening of Lhasa, especially the Jokhang Monastery, people gathered at the monastery to turn the scripture. In Kangting, the Shamanism monasteries will hold ceremonies to decorate the butter sculptures and light lamps for the Buddha. The ceremonies will also be held in Ngawa monasteries. The monks chanted the scriptures on the same day and the followers went to the monasteries for praying.

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