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Major Festivals in Tibet

Shoton Festival (In Lhasa)
In August, when summer is at its height, the annual opera performances of Shoton (Yogurt Banquet) take place in Lhasa, and people also go to Drepung Monastery to watch the large-sized Thangka show displayed there.

Tibetan New Year
Tibetan New Year is a traditional festival for Tibetans. On the first day of the Tibetan New Year (which falls in February or March), the entire populace greet one another with the words "tashi delek" (good luck and happiness) and "losar sang" (happy New Year), children let off fire crackers and everyone drinks "chang" (barely beer) and butter tea, toasting each other and wishing everybody well. Both in the town and countryside Tibetan opera, round dances and tap dances are performed, while in pastoral areas nomads sing and dance around blazing bonfires throughout the night. Various contests are held during the New Year's holiday such as wrestling, stone tossing, tug-of-war, horse races and archery.

Saga Dawa Festival
This is a very important religious festival to celebrate Buddha's birth, enlightenment and nirvana those are said to tall on the same date---15th, April of Tibetan Lunar Calendar. The festival lasts from 1st to
15th of April but of course the most important date is 15th. During this period of time, Tibetans walk along three pilgrimage paths to commemorate the merits of Buddha Sakyamuni. However, it is also a merit for Buddhists to donate money to beggars.

Nachu Kyaqen Horse Racing Festival
This is the most important event for Tibetan nomads in northern Tibet, the high altitude grassland. This festival takes place from Aug 10. To Aug 16. in Nachu town, the capital of Nachu Prefecture. During this time, there's always a fair trade, and local song and dance performances are shown, of course horse racing and archery are the main part of the festival.

Gandan Thangka Festival
The festival is celebrated only in Gandan Monastery on 15th.June of Tibetan Lunar Calendar; a large-sized Thangka of Buddha Sakyamuni is displayed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. there.,
Author/Editor By : Athena