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If you plan your tour of Tibet well, not only will you be able to see the pristine beauty of the region, you could also participate in the numerous highly colourful festivals of region. Hardly a day passes without some festivities, ceremonial observances or pilgrimages occurring in some part of the region or the other. Whichever festival you include in your travel itenery, be sure to carry lots of film. Trust us, you are going to need it.
Tibetan Festival Calendar (Year: 2016 and 2017)
|Tibetan New Year/Losar
||Day 1 Month 1
|Monlam prayer festival
||Day 4-11 Month 1
|Butter lamp / Choe-nga Choepa
||Day15 Month 1
||Day 15/Apr Month 4
|Gyantse horse race
||Day 14-18 Month 4
|Thangka unveiling Tashilungpo
||Day 15 Month 5
|Zamling Chisang / Samye Dolde
||Day 15 Month 5
|Choekor Duechen / Tukbe Tseshi
||Day 4 Month 6
|Ganden Thangka unveiling
||Day 15 Month 6
||Day 30 Month 6
||Day 8 Month 7
||Day 17 Month 7
|Nagchu horse race
|Jerkhundo horse race (Yeshu)
|Litang horse race
||Day 22 Month 9
|Palden Lhamo festival
||Day 15 Month 10
||Day 25 Month 10
Tibetan new year:
Losar is celebrated in homes and with friends, eating special food and drinking jugs of barley chang. On the first day pilgrims go to pay homage to the most sacred statue of Sakya Muni in Jokhang temple and burning incense all around Jokhang as well as at all Tibetan homes. Every one dresses in his/her finest closthes to do holy circuit around monasteries and temples.
Great prayer ( Mon Lam Chenmo )
Was founded in in 1409 by Tsong Khapa to celebrate the miracles performed by Buddha at Sravasti in India, Molam is greatest religious event of the year. In the former times over 10 thousand monks from Drepung, Sera and Ganden monasteries would come to gather in Jokhang temple for the event. This festivel still continues in large nos of monks in Labrang and Rongwo Gon Chen monasteries in Amdo although this festivel in Lhasa is held in Jokhang temple in fewer nos of monk.
Celebrating the enlightenment of Buddha and his attainment of Nirvana upon his death. Tens of thousands of Tibetan pilgrims crowd to do the sacred circuit around Jokhang and old Lhasa city known as Linkor.
The huge Gegu ( embroidered thangka ) displayed in Tashilunpo monastery in Shigatse and thousands of pilgrims flock there to touch their foreheads to the sacred Thangka in order to be blessed.
Universal incense offering ( Dzam Ling Chipsang )
Commemoration of Guru Rimpoche subduing the obstructive deities and spirits in Tibet and converting them to protectors of Buddhism, in preparation for the founding of Samye, The very first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. Tibetans burn incense offerings to these deities all over Tibet.
The huge Gegu ( embroidered thangka ) displayed in Drepung monastery in Lhasa and thousands of pilgrims go there to touch their foreheads to the sacred Thangka in order to be blessed. This Yogurt festivals operas also begins there in the monastery courtyard. Tibetans flock in Norbulinka ( the summer palace of the Dalai Lama ) to start their summer picnic.
Yogurt festival Opera at Norbulingka:
A week long summer picnic is held at Norbulinka ( Summer palace ) by Tibetans and the picnic is accompanied by a historical and interesting Tibetan opera for the first 3days. Summer palace fills with the melody of happiness.
Labrang monastic opera ( Cham ):
Monks at Labrang monastery perform the ritual dances by wearing Buddhist masks. Thousands of Tibetans flock there for the special ceremony the miracle festival.
Labrang monastic opera ( Summer ): Duration 1
Monks at Labrang monastery perform the ritual dances by wearing Buddhist masks. This perform telling the story of Milarepa who get enlightenment.
Labrang monastic opera ( Winter ):
Monks at Labrang monastery perform Kalarewa dance, this perform also has thousand of Tibetans from all over and celabrat the special ceremony.
Horse racing festival at Labrang Sangke grassland:
This is a special ceremony held by the nomads of Sangke including mainly horse race, Yak race and wrestling.
Kangding Horse Racing Festival:
This is a special ceremony held by the nomads of Kangding of Kham-region including mainly horse race, Yak race and wrestling.
Lithang horse racing festival:
The Tibetan area of Kham in West-Sichuan is comprised of Garze Tibet Autonomous Prefecture and this area features snowy mountains. Here also plants of various shapes and colors and numerous wild animals exist.