Tibetan Festivals Tour

  • Last Updated on Jan 30, 2024

Table of Contents

Tibetan, one of the Chinese ethnic minorities, have extraordinary ability in singing and dancing and appreciate different sorts of social activities. Celebrate exotic festivals by the help of Tibetan festival tour from Nepal. As a significant platform for social events, Tibetan festivals nearly occur each month. Some keep going for a couple of days, while some eventual celebrated for over ten days. Notwithstanding national festivals, various areas have their one of a kind local festivals. With different manifestations, Tibetan festival tour help to spectate and participate worshiping, cultivating, tribute, festivity, social entertainment, etc. which promotes Tibetan culture. As indicated by various nature and purpose, festivals in Tibet can be generally classified into four groups, the religious festival, the entertaining festival, the productive festival, and the seasonal festival.

Tibet has an interesting society which is developed from ancient time under the spectacular geography and climate of Tibetan plateau. During its development, the neighboring nations, such as Nepal, India, and China played significant roles as an infiltration. Because of the remoteness and unreachability of Tibetan plateau, its own kind of culture has been protected prominently and has impacts on all Tibetans around the world. Tibet has an efficient culture with its language, character, religion, arts, celebrations, and so on. Buddhism is the affluence of Tibetan culture. You can see Monasteries and temples wherever you reach. Tibetan people are harmonious, determined and sensible. Tibet is rich in culture and favored by Buddha constantly prefer to celebrate various types of festivals and celebrations.

In Tibet, local people groups or the priests celebrates festival consistently, and there might be several in a single month. The theme of every festival may vary from Buddhism worship to harvest celebration, sports, ethnic, and so on. The festivals are the foundation of Tibetan traditional culture, witness the magnificent history of Tibet and creativeness of Tibetan people. Tibetans celebrate festival according to the Tibetan Calendar which has 30 days gap contrasted with the Chinese calendar. Most festivals are composed in the influential monasteries, for example, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Palco Monastery, Reting Monastery, Tsurphu Monastery, and so forth. The festivals and functions typically last from one day to weeks. The Tibet Losar (New Year Festival) and Shoton Festival are the two most significant celebrations in every single Tibetan regions, including Tibet, Kham, Amdo, and so on.

Tibet is huge and the Tibetan culture is vaster and various. Buddhism is the spirit of Tibetan culture and shows up at pretty much every aspect of individuals' life. Our Tibet culture tour takes you to find Tibetan living, explore the best Buddhist sanctuaries, and so on. In the event that you want to appreciate the mind-boggling festivals, you need to visit on certain days. So making an early plan is important. Tibetan people have a one of kind culture. A Tibet tour at the time of festivals will be one of the most life-changing trips throughout your life. Here we have listed the major traditional Tibetan festivals from which you can get many interesting things about Tibetan people and festival they celebrate.

The Top 6 Tibetan Festival Tours

1. Losar - New Year (1st – 3rd of first lunar Month)

The Tibetan New year, also called Losar Festival, is the most significant celebration on the Tibetan calendar. Based on the Tibetan Calendar, yearly New Year festivity starts on December 29 and keeps going 2 weeks. Tibetan New Year offers the visitors an incredible chance to appreciate the yearly bubbly event with nearby Tibetans. The Tibetan individuals will wear their new costumes, and hold various activities to farewell to the previous year and welcome the coming New Year. This is the best celebration for the Tibetan people. In the ancient time when the peach trees were in bloom, the beginning of the New Year was considered. Yet, since the systemization of the Tibetan calendar in 1027 AD, the principal day of the month when peach bloomed was fixed as the New Year. On this day Tibetan families gather and auspicious dipper is offered, and the auspicious word "Tashi Delek" are greeted.

How to celebrate the Tibetan New Year Festival

Getting "Qiema" and "Kasai" Ready

Before the Tibetan New Year, every family makes or gather "qiema" (a wooden measure for grain), expressing the wish of good harvest and auspiciousness in the coming year. They will likewise make "Kasai" (seared twisted mixture sticks) in different structures, which looks golden and tastes firm, and "luoguo" (a sort of food made of butter in the shape of sheepshead), signifying thriving domestic animals and plentiful life. Additionally, they offer dried or fresh fruits, butter and brick tea to Buddhas.

Having a Family Reunion

On December 28-29 (Tibetan schedule), every one of the families cleans their homes and draw "eight auspicious paintings" on the center of the kitchen wall. Before dinner of December 29, they will spray lime in front of their homes to form designs of auspiciousness. New Year's Eve is likewise the season of Ghost Exorcizing Festival. On this day, all relatives will get together to have a major supper. They will eat Guthuk, made of beef and lamb, turnip and flour bump. Is intriguing that a few stones, coins, salt, pepper, charcoal, and wool are enclosed by the flour lump. At the point when individuals eat, they must be mindful to perceive what is in their next mouthful of food. The giggling fills the room at that time. After supper, they hold a service to drive away ghosts.

Visiting Friends and paying Pilgrims

Tibetan individuals don't visit each other on the first day of the year. Beginning from the following day, they start visiting relatives and friends, which will last three to five days. On the third day of the first Tibetan month, they offer sacrifices to the "God of Roof." All of them climb to the top of their home and hang the new sutra streamer. At that point, they burn cypress branches and throw zamba into the air. Lhasa people go in a group to the Baoping (Treasured Bottle) Mountain in the east and Chakpori (King of Medicine) Mountain in the west to stick in scripture pole and hang sutra streamer to worship the God of mountain and water. From the fourth day on, Tibetans begin their biggest religious celebration - Great Prayer Festival, which will end on the fifteenth day of the first Tibetan month. On the fifth day, farmers in Lhasa rural areas hold great ceremonies to begin ploughing.  

Welcoming New Year

On the first day of the New Year, the Tibetans wake up early. Some even keep awake through the entire night. In any case, they couldn't go out so early. The main program for them will be "scrambling for water". As per the custom, the person who gets the main barrel of water at sunrise is the luckiest one of the year. Just when the morning star rises and somebody yells "Lajieluo (God wins!)" would Tibetans be able to rush out. Another significant movement in the first part of the day is to go to the Jokhang Monastery to offer sacrifices to Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. On this day, individuals must wear the most wonderful garments and the most valuable jewels.

Date: first - third of the main lunar month (Tibetan Calendar)

Location: Whole Tibet

Activities: Ghost Exorcizing Festival, Tibetan Opera Performance

Duration: around about fourteen days (2 weeks)

2. Shoton Festival (30th June)

Shoton Festival is one of the grandest celebrations for every single Tibetan individuals. It is a festival to mark the end of the priests 'Yarné, their hundred-day summer retreat. This celebration begins the most recent day of the 6th month in Tibetan Calendar and goes on for a couple of days. "Shoton" in Tibetan means sour milk banquet. As Tibetan Operas are performed and Buddha paintings are shown at this time, it is additionally called "Tibetan Opera Festival" or "Buddha Exhibition Festival". In bygone times, priests are required to stay sequestered in their cloisters for the ascetic practice with regards to Buddhism, and the local people rushed there to give them sour milk and preform dancing for them. Along these lines, the Shoton Festival was formed.

How to celebrate the Shoton Festival

Appreciate Thangka Exhibition

The prelude of the Shoton Festival is the Buddha exhibition in Drepung Monastery, which is held at the foot of the Gebeiwoze Mountain. The tranquil valley ends up energized. With the sound of sutra trumpet resounding through the valley, around 100 lamas will carry the huge scale thangka depicting Qamba Buddha (or Maitreya) out of the Coqen Hall of the Drepung Monastery and step toward the west of the cloister where a special stage is set up for the Buddha picture presentation. In no more than 2 hours, the tangka will be rolled up again and carried back. At that point, individuals go to the courtyard of Gandain Phodrang to watch Tibetan Opera.

Watch Tibetan Opera Performance and Eat Yogurt

After the Thangka display in Drepung Monastery, Shonton Festival will last with a strong blissful atmosphere for a few days. During those days, an incredible number of individuals will gather with their family and friends in Norbulingka Park to have a family outing and appreciate superb Tibetan shows. The grounds of the Norbulingka are loaded up with celebrating bunches by joyfully shaded hanging walls of delightful mats and printed canvas. Toward the evening of the main day, Norbulingka goes to a focal point of activities, and some notable Tibetan opera groups will play out the conventional performance to please the people. Eating Yogurt is additionally an approach to celebrate the Shoton Festival. These days, the Shoton Festival has turned into a broad festivity action with the most impacts in Tibet. It is likewise a great gathering for product trades.

Date: 30th June (Tibetan Calendar)

Venue: Lhasa and some other areas

Activities: Huge Thangka of Buddha Exhibition, Tibetan Opera performance, Yogurt Banquet

Duration: about days

3. Horse Racing Festival (between June and July)

Tibetan Horse Racing Festival happens when the field is rich and horses and cows are stout and strong. Dressing themselves and their best horses, hundreds of herdsmen partake in exciting horse racing, archery, and horsemanship challenges. These days, the scale increases and the structures broadened and substance progressively beautiful. It has turned into great service to help the economy. Horse Racing and archery are massively respected in Tibet and its periphery. Furthermore, the Gyantse appreciates the pride of being the first to begin this game in 1408. This festive include horse races, archery, shooting on running horseback pursued by few days of picnicking, and entertainment. Different activities like the ball game, Olympic style sports occasions, society singing and dancing is the extra fascination of this celebration.

How to celebrate the Horse Racing Festival

As the horse racing begins, herders will come from far by horse or yak, wearing beautiful clothes for celebrations, and a wide range of gems and ornaments. The horse racing field will instantly be surrounded by tents.

The occasion incorporates horse racing and horsemanship. The horse racing plans to test the controlling capacity of the horseman and the reasonability, detonating power and dependability of the horse. There are long-distance and short-distance horse racing, covering thousands or hundred meters. The horsemanship match has such substance as shooting arrows, target practice, chopping, grabbing hada and offering highland grain wine on the horse.

The environment is agreeable and the occasion is to a greater performance than the competition. There pointed rules for the match. Likewise, such projects as two-man thug-of-war and conveying huge stones are additionally performed. As sunsets, people make a campfire and sing and dance around it.

Date: between June and July (Tibetan Calendar)

Venue: Nagqu

Activities: Horse Racing, Horsemanship, Trade Fair

Duration:  Over 10 days

4. Peach Blossom (late March)

Nyingchi is loaded with various types of plants – wild woods, various types of blossoms, and so forth. At the point when the spring comes, Nyingchi turns into an ocean of peach blooms. It must be a stunning stunner that the pink flowers are in full bloom under the foot of snow-secured mountains. On the off chance that you are shutterbug or enthusiast of Mother Nature, visit Nyingchi during the Peach Blossom Festival. When spring comes, it implies reverberation for Tibet the travel industry. The spring leaves an obvious impression in Nyingchi since Mid-March. With a normal height of 3,100 meters and encompassed by the snow-topped Himalaya mountain range, the area invites spring sooner than the rest of Tibet. In spite of the fact that unexhausted chill may hit Nyingchi in March from time to time, Nyingchi has turned into an ocean of peach blooms.

How to Celebrate Peach Blossom Festival

During the Nyingchi Peach Blossom Festival, you cannot just appreciate the charming views on peach blooms yet additionally can encounter many fascinating local activities sorted out by local Tibetan and governments.

There first generally will be a photography challenge of peach blooms. So hold onto the opportunity to take some extraordinary photographs and attempt to win a prize. Furthermore, local individuals will arrange a few breathtaking amusements. The most energizing ones are pony dashing, toxophilite and stone-conveying rivalry. Likewise, don't lose the opportunity to join local people in the dancing, singing gatherings.

Best Places to see Peach Blossoms in Nyingchi

  • Gala Village
  • Yarlung Zangbu Grand Canyon
  • Nyang River
  • Bome Country

Date: late March

Venue: Nyingchi

Activities: Watching Peach Flowers

Duration: more than one month

5. Saga Dawa (April 15)

Saga Dawa Festival is one of the most intense religious celebrations, denoting the date of Sakyamuni's enlightenment and nirvana. It would be praised on April fifteenth as indicated by Tibetan schedule. This is an auspicious day since the gods are accepted to descent from paradise to the earth on this day. Incense sticks are lit in enormous number and families gather and go for picnicking in this day. This very day is otherwise called the World Incense Day as well. April 15 on Tibetan Calendar is accepted to be when Sakyamuni was born, stepped into Buddhahood, and achieved nirvana. The greatest custom is to love Buddha and circumambulate in the inward, center and external pieces of Lhasa. Sutra reciting, prayer turning, Cham dancing and different religious activities lead the celebration.

How to celebrate the Saga Dawa Festival

Saga Dawa Festival is a powerful religious celebration in Tibet, and it will happen on June seventeenth in 2019 Solar Calendar. The celebration reaches its peak on April 15, which is viewed as the birthday and the day that Sakyamuni entered nirvana. Buddhist supporters stroll around the outer part of Lhasa on this day. They chanted sacred texts while strolling on the 8,000-meter-long external ring of Lhasa, framing a great troop. Going by mulberry stoves or flames, they include cypress branches, mugwort, Chinese photinia or zamba. At crossing points of streets, they will put off their caps to bow towards the direction of Potala Palace. Toward the evening, they all get together at Zongjolukang (Dragon King's Pool) at the back of the Red Hill, where they pontoon, sing, dance and entertain themselves.

Date: 15th April (Tibetan Calendar)

Venue: Lhasa and surrounding

Activities: Worshipping

Duration: about 1 month

6. Bathing Festival (July 16)

Bathing Festival, usually falls in July as indicated by the Tibetan calendar. Enduring seven days, it is otherwise called the Bathing Week. In Tibetan, it is classified "Gamariji," which means Venus. As the star rises to the sky, the mass Bathing begins. As the star sets, the Bathing closes. The legend goes that Bathing at this period is gainful to health. It is customarily believed in Tibet that the water in streams and lakes become purest and can fix any disease. For an entire week, from morning to night, Tibetans of any age go to the waterways to take a holy bath. The waterways are full of people as young and old people and families all participate.

How to celebrate the Bathing Festival

As per Tibetan Buddhism, the water in Tibet right now has 8 advantages: sweet, cool, delicate, light, clear, spotless, unharmful to the throat, nor the belly. Decided the common habitat and atmosphere of Tibet, the stream water has a moderately high temperature and is reasonable for Bathing. During the 7 days, a huge number of Tibetan people go to the river or lake to have Bathed.

Date: 16th July (Tibetan Calendar)

Venue: Whole Tibet

Activities: Bathing in hot spring

Duration: 1 week

If you are an enthusiast to spectate and took part in Tibetan Festivals then Nepal Trek Adventure and Expedition is always ready to fulfill your desire. Tibet is rich in its exotic culture and festivals.  During the festivals, Tibetan individuals will hold a variety of folk and religious activities, where you can appreciate the carnival atmosphere. In this way, it would be a better idea if voyagers could visit Tibet during traditional festivals, and never miss those lively festivities and interesting local people.

Anuja Sharma

Anuja Sharma

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.

Drop us a message