Just like the rest of the world, Tibet has its own festivals celebrated every year. People from different areas in the world flock to Tibet to witness and participate in these events, while others visit Tibet at these times knowing that the whole province, especially the city of Lhasa takes on a vibrant party atmosphere.
The festivals in Tibet are generally calculated according to the city’s lunar calendar. So if you are planning to visit and witness these events, it would be best if you’ll check the lunar calendar first for you to know the exact dates of the festivals in Tibet.
Below is a short list of the most celebrated festivals in Tibet. Just read on and don’t miss them during your visit.
Tibetan New Year
If you are wondering what festivals in Tibet is the greatest, the answer is the Tibetan New Year. It is considered as the greatest for the reason that it is during this time that Lhasa and the rest of the Tibetan province takes on its most colorful form. The Tibetan New Year is celebrated on the first day of the first month, and it’s nice to know that during this period, families unite and dine together. They also greet each other with the “auspicious words”.
The Monlam is known throughout Tibet as the great prayer festival. Of the festivals in Tibet, this is the one celebrated midway through the first lunar month. Also, it is during this time when the icon of the maitreya from the jokhang is borne around the barkhor. It is this icon actually that attracts people, pilgrims and locals alike.
Saga Dawa Festival
The Saga Dawa Festival is the holiest of the festivals in Tibet. This is marked as the birth of Buddha and His enlightenment. People who flock to the city during this event spend their time joining the circumambulations round the city. Most families during this time also spend their afternoons on picnic at the foot of the Potala Palace, right at the dzongyab lukahng.
Tibet is rich in opera festivals. One of the greatest festivals in Tibet that has something to do with opera is the Shoton Festival which is celebrated in the month of August. In this festival, opera contests and distribution of prizes are held for about a week.
The Ganden Festival is basically an exhibit featuring the 25 precious articles of the Ganden monastery. These articles are locked in their treasure house and are displayed only in the main shrine hall on the 15th day of the 6th Tibetan month. The display is usually accompanied by a grand offering ceremony.
Held on September, the Harvest Festival is one of the most well-known festivals in Tibet. During this time, the farmers in Lhasa, gyantse and shangnan commemorate their bumeer harvest, and it is also during this event when people spend their time enjoying the horse racing games, songs and dance archery, picnic, costume fashion shows, and a lot more. Of all the festivals in Tibet, this is one of the merriest.