Harvest Festival or Wongkor
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. The Bonpo followers walked around fields and prayed for good harvest and slowly it became a folk festival, therefore the tradition dates to before the coming of Buddhism.
The festival has no fixed date and is celebrated when the crops are ripe and ready to be harvested, and the main reason why Tibetans celebrate the festival is to pray that they can overcome the natural disasters and enjoy a good harvest. When they celebrate this festival, people wear new clothes, carry Buddhist scriptures on their backs, and walk with local monks around their fields. Besides walking around their fields, there are other activities like horse and Yak races and performances of Tibetan opera dance and circle dancing as well.
On that day, people get up early, collect some crops from the field and offer them to the three jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. They also make offerings to the Naga spirits and the local gods and pray that there will be a good harvest in the coming year. When the prayers are over people enjoy good food, drinks, singing, and dancing. They also invite their relatives and friends to enjoy the festival together. The time of this festival is not the same in all the places due to differences in climate and altitude, so one area may have many different days for!
The Harvest Festival is a highly recommended event to visit during your Tibet tour to experience the authentic and unique culture and tradition of Tibet. If you want to witness the true splendor of the Harvest festival, the farming villages in Tibet are the best places to go to.
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