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Tibet Festival

Introduction:
In Tibet festivals are celebrated nearly all round the seasons where events and occasions are of various types to celebrate the festival, most of the events are religious and some are related to harvest and nature spirits.
Most of the religious festivals are related to Lord Sakyamuni the founder of Buddhism and his followers, as the time passed by more festivals event was added as per the rulers and main head priest and kings like Songsant Gampo-Tshon Khapa founder of Gelygpa sect and many others.

Generally in all festivals people wears their best new dress, visit monasteries and chapels-shrines offering Khada (silk scarf), butter for the lamps and incense as well fruits-biscuits, money and food grains, most of the festival are celebrated dancing and singing, having rich meals and merrymaking, where several games and sports are also held to mark the occasion like archery and horse race.

The main important festivals are Saga Dawa (birth anniversary of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha) and
Losar (Tibetan New Year)

01:

1st Month around 1st -7th Feb

Merrymaking, horse racing, dancing and as well as gambling.

02:

1st Month around 14th -25th Feb

Monlam Festival originated by Tsong Khapa,

03:

1st Month around 15th Feb

Festival of Light All local monasteries and houses are illuminated with butter lamps with prayer service.

04:

2nd Month 21st March

Offering and assemble of Lamas (Tshog chho) Priest and monks known as Lamas of Sera-Drepung and Ganden monasteries assemble in Lhasa for the offering and prayer.

05:

2nd Month 28th-29th March

 Festival to drive out Evil where Lamas surround the city of Lhasa with trumpets and chanting.

06:

3rd Month 8th April

Official ending of winter months / seasons and celebrate the beginning of spring season.

07:

4th Month 7th May

Birth of Sakyamuni Buddha ‘Saga Dawa’ visit monasteries and offer prayer and light lamps.

08:

4th Month 15th May

lamps with outdoor opera and releasing captures animals and birds. 

09:

5th Month 14th – 16th June

in Shigatse (Tibet’s 2nd biggest cities) with celebration.

10:

5th Month 15th -24th June

Worship of Buddha with picnics and parties in various parks and in Norbulinka (summer palace of Dalai Lama)

11:

6th Month 4th July

Minor festival of lights to celebrate Buddha’s first sermon.

12:

6th Month 30th - 31st July

Foil the Devil visits Drepung monastery to watch dancers.

13:

8th Month 1st – 07th September

Harvest Festival prayers, singing dancing and partying.

14:

8th Month 1st – 10th September.

Dajyur festival of Gyantse Games and Horse Race.

15:

9th Month 22nd October

Buddha descent from heaven after preaching his mother

Please note that the dates above can differ as per Tibetan Lunar calendar                    

Tibetan Culture:

The culture of Tibetans are based on religious way of life and traditions some of the culture are practiced even before Buddhism came into Tibet around 7th Century, where Bon the ancient animism religion was worshipped and still exists in remote part of Far South West Tibet.

Tibetan culture starts with great hospitality where every guests and family member-relatives or friends are highly treated welcoming them with Khada (silk scarf) offering Tibetan Tea (a mixture of butter-salt and milk) or Chang (barley local beer).

The culture continues with day to day traditional way of life as handed by past generation and of Buddhist religions worshiping-prayer-going on pilgrimage to holy sites and celebrating social or religious festivals.

Like in most Asia countries woman are the household keepers and running the family life as well working in farm fields and animals husbandry. In spare time they knit with yak / sheep wools, while men folk mostly do outdoor works farming and as Sheppard or traders.

Tibetan culture is full of liveliness of merrymaking-drinking and dancing on occasion in wedding-festivals. But morning time is spared for prayers and lighting lamps and burning incense of dry juniper and azalea (dwarf rhododendron plants).