About Tibet -»
In Tibet, there are many festivals throughout the year that attract the
faithful as well as curious onlookers. Dancing monks can be seen in the
Year End Festival (February-March) held to dispel the evil of the old year
and auspiciously usher in the new one; Losar (New Year Festival) is a colorful
week of activities (February-March), including Tibetan drama, pilgrims making
incense offerings and Tibetans dressed in their finest crowding the streets;
cham dancing and chang drinking are the order of the day at the Tsurphu
Festival (May-June) - the highlight is the dance of the Karmapa.
The Gyantse Horse Racing Festival is a traditional event that takes place
in June and features dances, picnics, archery and equestrian events; the
Chökor Duchen Festival, held in Lhasa around August-September, celebrates
Buddha's first sermon at Sarnath near Varanasi; the Bathing Festival (September-October)
sees locals washing away the previous year's grim in the river; Lhabab
D¨¹chen (November-December) commemorates Buddha's descent from
Tibetan New Year (February or March)
It is the greatest festival in Tibet. In ancient times when the peach
tree was in blossom, it was considered as the starting of a new year.
Since the systematization of the Tibetan calendar in 1027 AD., the first
day of the first month became fixed as the New Year. On the New Year's
Day, families unite "auspicious dipper" is offered and the auspicious
words "tashi delek" are greeted.
Butter Oil Lantern Festival (February or March)
It's held on the 15th of the first lunar month. Huge yak-butter sculptures
are placed around Lhasa's Barkhor circuit.
Saga Dawa Festival (May or June)
It is the holiest in Tibet, there memorable occasions coincide on this
day, Buddha's birth and Buddha's enlightenment. Almost every person within
Lhasa joins in circumambulations round the city and spends their late
afternoon on picnic at "Dzongyab Lukhang" park at the foot of
Gyantse Horse Race & Archery (May or June)
Horse race and archery are generally popular in Tibet, and Gyantse enjoys
prestige of being the earliest in history by starting in 1408. Contests
in early times included horse race, archery, and shooting on gallop followed
by a few days' entertainment or picnicking. Presently, ball games, track
and field events, folk songs and dances, barter trade are in addition
to the above.
Changtang Chachen Horse Race Festival (August)
There are many horse racing festivals in Tibet, the one in Nagqu of Northern
Tibet is the greatest. August is the golden season on Northern Tibet's
vast grassland. Herdsmen, on their horsebacks, in colorful dresses, carrying
tents and local products, pour into Nagqu. Soon they form a city of tents.
Various exciting programs are held, such as horse racing, yak racing,
archery, horsemanship and commodity fair.
Shoton Festival (August)
It is one of the major festivals in Tibet, also known as the Tibetan Opera
Festival. The founder of the Gelugpa (Yellow Sect of Buddhism), Tsongkhapa
set the rule that Buddhists can cultivate themselves only indoor in summer,
to avoid killing other creatures carelessly. This rule must be carried
out till the seventh lunar month. Then Buddhists go outdoors, accept yoghurt
served by local people, and have fun. Since the middle of 17th century,
the Fifth Dalai Lama added opera performance to this festival. Famous
Tibetan opera troupes perform in Norbulingka (Dalai Lama's summer palace).
Bathing Festival (September)
It is believed when the sacred planet Venus appears in the sky; the water
in the river becomes purest and cures diseases. During its appearance
for one week, usually the end of the seventh and beginning of the eighth
lunar months, all the people in Tibet go into the river to wash away the
grime of the previous year.
Kungbu Traditional Festival (November or December)
Long time ago, when Tibet was in danger of large scale invasion, the Kongpo
people sent out an army to defend their homeland. It was in September
and the soldiers worried that they might miss the New Year, highland barley
wine and other good things. So people had the Tibetan New Year on 1st
October ahead of time. To memorize those brave soldiers Kongpo people
present three sacrifices and stay up at night from then on. And now it
has become the Kongpo Festival for entertainment like Kongpo dancing,
horse race, archery and shooting.
Harvest Festival (September)
The farmers in Lhasa, Gyantse and Shangnan to celebrating their bumer harvest
in this time. During that time, people enjoy with horse racing games, costume
fashion show, songs and dance Archery and picnic etc.
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