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.

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.

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. 

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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