Great Prayer Festival (Monlam Chenmo)

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.  The festival was established by the great master Tsongkhapa in 1409, the founder of Gelugpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism to commemorate and in honor of Buddha Shakyamuni.

The festival will be held In Lhasa, Thousands of monks from Drepung, Sera and Ganden gather for chanting prayers and performing religious rituals at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. The lamas debate Buddhist scriptures in the temple and ask questions of high-level lamas and debate with them, as well as performing various religious rituals.

An offering carefully crafted from butter and over 10m-high was put in the Jokhang Temple, where most of the monks from the monasteries around Lhasa would gather and hold the ‘Monlam Chenmo’ or ‘Great Prayer Festival’.  Many hundreds of thousands local Tibetans, perhaps more than a million streamed into Lhasa for these celebrations to pay homage and get blessings.

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. 

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.

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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