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.  All the Buddhists believe that the result of positive and negative thoughts and actions in this month are multiplied 100,000 times. It is one of the important Tibetan festivals.

Buddha Shakyamuni was born, attained enlightenment and passed into Nirvana this month. During this month, everyone does their best to carry out as many meritorious actions possible. Large shoals of pilgrims around the Potala Palace, Barkhor Street and the wider circumambulation route around Lhasa town is a common sight.

Meritorious acts include pilgrimages to sacred places such as monasteries, temples, and stupas. People set animals free, give cash, food, and drinks to the beggars and the disadvantaged group. Many Tibetans also abstain from taking life, stealing things that are not given and eating meat. Instead, they make offerings to the three jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Parents advise their children not to harm any beings and to be kind to animals in general and especially during this month.

Raising up the colorful prayer flagpole at the foot of Mt. Kailash is seen to be one of the greatest events during Saga Dawa festival. Pilgrims from a different part of Tibet come and join the huge ceremonial flagpole with hundreds of colorful prayer flags attached to it. Before the ceremony starts, a group of lamas come closer to the flagpole and play woodwind instruments. When the music begins, pilgrims begin to walk around the prayer flags. As soon as the 25m high flagpole is raised, followers start to throw Highland barley powder on themselves, which is believed to bring luck. Thousands of pilgrims start to throw paper made colorful prayers into the air. They are believed to be carried by the wind to heaven. When the ritual is finished, part of the followers makes 13 circles around the flagpole and pray, and the other part starts their Mt Kailash sacred trek “Kora” which takes 2-3 days for the round.

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.

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. 

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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Over 20 years of experience in the Tibetan travel industry, our team consists of the best and experienced Tibet travel guides that will show you the best that this extraordinary place has to offer, unravel all the undiscovered beauty of Tibet unique culture and tradition in front of you.  Whether a guest is looking to join a Tibet group tour or take a private tailor-made journey, we are the best choice.

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