Bathing Festival

The Bathing Festival usually falls on the first ten days of July according to the Tibetan calendar. Lasting a week, it is also known as the Bathing Week. The bathing practice has at least eight-hundred-year history.

In Tibetan, it is called “Gamariji,” meaning Golden Star, or Venus. As the star rises to the sky, the mass bathing starts. As the star sets, the bathing ends. The legend goes that bathing at this period is beneficial to health and according to Tibetan Buddhism, the water in Tibet at this time has eight advantages: sweet, cool, soft, light, clear, clean, un-harmful to a throat, nor to belly. Judged from the natural environment and climate of Tibet, the river water has a relatively high temperature and is suitable for bathing.

During the seven days, tens of thousands of Tibetan men and women take along various foods, butter tea local barley beer and go to river or lake to have baths. The tents, big or small, dot the beach into a colorful world. Usually, local Tibetans kick off the day by washing their quilts, clothes, and shoes in the river first. At noontime, when the river water gets warms enough for bath, they jump naked into the river for bathing. Male and female, young and old, all swim, play games and bathe together. In the afternoon, most people like having a party inside the tents or under the trees, where they drink, sing and dance until Venus reappears in the sky. Then they pack up and return to their homes.

Read More About Other Festivals

Tibetan New Year

The Tibetan New Year – namely Losar in the Tibetan language – is based on Tibetan astrology, a synthesis of Indian and Chinese astrology so the New Year begins on a new moon.

Saga Dawa Festival

Saga Dawa festival occurs in the 4th month of Tibetan lunar calendar, Saga Dawa is called the “month of merits”. It is the most important month.

Shoton Festival

Shoton Festival, which literally means “Yoghurt Banquet Festival”, is one of the most important Tibetan festivals. This Tibetan festival dates back to the 11th century when it was initially introduced as a religious occasion. 

Great Prayer Festival

The great prayer festival is known as “Monlam Chenmo” in Tibetan. This typical Buddhist festival falls in the 4th – 11th day of the 1st lunar month. 

Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival or “Wongkor festival” in Tibetan is very popular in all the farming areas of Tibet. During the time of Pudi Kongyal, the ninth king of Tibet, and his minister Rulekye, agriculture developed significantly as they paid great importance to it. 

Butter Lamp Festival

The butter lamp festival or “Chunga Choepa” in Tibetan is one of the major highlighting events in Tibetan Buddhism primarily to commemorate the great master Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Pal Lhamo Festival

Pal Lhamo or Dharmapala Palden Lhamo is one of the more wrathful female deities of Buddhism. Among her many roles, she is the special protector of the city of Lhasa

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