Festivals of Tibet
Festivals In Tibet
Many grand and vibrant Tibetan festivals are making up our list of Lhasa festivals and events. The highlights are The Tibetan New Year, the Shoton Festival, and the Thangka Festival when a giant Buddha painting is unfurled. Other festivals are associated with Buddhist monasteries and local traditions and customs.
Lhasa is the centre of all things Tibetan, so a Lhasa tour, especially one including a minority festival, would be ideal for experiencing Tibet’s culture. Here are some of the famous festivals in Tibet.
Loshar (New Year)
12th – 14th February 2021
25th – 27th February 2020
5th – 7th February 2019
It is the largest Tibetan festival celebrated by all. It starts on the 1st day of the 1st month of the Tibetan Calendar. It is observed for 3 to 15 days. On the eve of the New Year, the Tibetans eat Guthuk – a specially prepared noodle soup with their family.
26th May 2021
This festival honours the Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and Nirvana. This takes place in the 4th month of the Tibetan calendar. One’s good deed is considered to multiply during this period, so Tibetans give alms to beggars and become vegetarian. Those who can make a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash in West Tibet.
24th June 2021
It is considered a universal prayer day in Central Tibet. Tibetans go to nearby mountains to hang prayer flags and burn incense on the 15thday of the fifth month of their calendar.
The Dalai Lama’s birthday
6th July 2021
Tibetans celebrate His Holiness’s birthday everywhere with prayers for long life, picnics, and cultural programs. It always falls on the 6th of July.
15th July 2021
This day is to honour Shakyamuni Buddha’s first sermon on the four noble truths in Sarnath, India. It was the day when the wheel of Dharma was first turned. Drukpa Tse Shi is another local name; it means the 4th day of the 6th
Shoton or Sho Dun (Yogurt) festival.
16th – 22nd August 2021
This festival is celebrated with enthusiasm at Drepung Monastery in Lhasa. An enormous Thangka is displayed on the hill next to the monastery. Thousands gather to see it and pray before going on a picnic and watching Tibetan opera at the Norbulingka Palace grounds. The celebration begins on the 29th day of the 6th month, and there is a ritual dance at Drepung Monastery. It goes on for ten days during the summer.
27th October 2021
It is a day of prayer to honour Buddha’s descent from the heavenly realm to earth. This is celebrated on the 22nd day of the 9th month on the Tibetan Calendar.
29th December 2021
This is the death anniversary of Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetans light butter lamps to make offerings both at home and in monasteries. It takes on the 25th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan Calendar.