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Tibet Festivals

Tibetan Festivals

Main festivals celebrated by Tibetans

The Tibetan culture is unique and rich in the world. Below we have listed the major traditional Tibetan festivals:

Tibetan New Year
Date: December 28-29 (Tibetan Calendar)
The Tibetan New Year is the most important festival in the Tibet. Different regions of Tibet celebrate the New Year differently.

Butter Lantern Festival
Date: January 15 (Tibetan Calendar)
January 15th  of the Tibetan calendar marks the close of the Tibetan New Year festivities. On this day, people migrate to the temples to burn incense to worship the Buddhas.

Sagar Dawa Festival
Date: In April, around 15th (Tibetan Calendar)
Sagar Dawa represents April in the Tibetan calendar. In Buddhism it is believed that Sakyamuni was born, became Buddha and died in April.  In and around Lhasa, this festival is held to worship the Buddha.

Shoton Festival of Lhasa
"Shoton" in Tibetan means "sour milk banquet". In this festival Tibetan operas are performed and Buddha paintings are exhibited. It is also called the "Tibetan Opera Festival" or "Buddha Exhibition Festival.As well as yak racing and horsemanship displays. The Shoton Festival starts on the 30th day of the 6th month according to Tibetan calendar and lasts for five days.

Bathing Festival
Date: the first ten days of July (Tibetan Calendar)
The Bathing Festival is celebrated in the first ten days of July, according to the Tibetan calendar. In Tibetan, this festival is called "Gamariji. It is so called because the rising of Venus in the sky signals the beginning of this festival where Tibetans bathe in rivers and lakes believed.

Ongkor Festival (Bumper Harvest Festival)
Date: in August (Tibetan Calendar)
The Ongkor Festival is a traditional Tibetan harvesting festival celebrated  in the farms of Tibet each August, according to Tibetan calendar.

Horse Racing Fair and Archery Festival
Date: between June and July (Tibetan Calendar)
Horse Racing and Archery Fairs are unique events held in the Tibet. They are held between June and July, according to the Tibetan calendar, when the pastures are lush and the horses and cows are stout and strong. While horse racing occurs each year, large events occur only once every three years. Events last for several days. The most well known events are the Kyagqen Horse Racing Art Festival of Nagqu and the Darma Festival of Gyangze.

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