Mainling County Festivals and Activities
Gongbu Festival（贡布节） is celebrated every October first in Tibetan Calendar in many places of Nyingchi Prefecture including Mainling County. During this festival, Tibetan people will observe some brilliant activities such as casting out the devils, inviting their dogs to eat the new year dinner, enjoying special Tibetan food Jieda（结达）, carrying water home from the river and enshrine the goddess of the harvest, etc.
Saga Dawa Festival
Saga means “the fourth” and Dawa refers to “month” in Tibetan. This festival is celebrated for whole month and is one of the most significant festivals celebrated in Tibet. But the fifteenth day of the month is very special as Sakyamuni was born, attained Nirvana (enlightenment), stepped into Parinirvana (death). Tibetans believe that it would accumulate immense of merits during that particular day by giving generosity, stopping killing animals and eating meats, etc. Monks chanting in monasteries, cham dancing and other religious activities dominate the occasion. The festival is called “Qiong ren Jie” in Chinese which means poor people’s day because Tibetan peoples’ generosity to the poor people is well known.
What to See in Saga Dawa Festival
- Hundreds of Tibetan people circumambulating around the Barkhor, Tsekhor(Circuit around Potala) and Lingkhor.
- Liberation of fishes in Lhasa river(Kyichu) and other animals according to their budgets.
- Monks reciting prayer in Assembly hall in monasteries and serving butter tea during intermission.
- Hundreds of Tibetan people lined up in Drepung kitchen for making their donation for the monks during chanting prayers in assembly hall.
- Tibetan people will never eat meats during 15th day of the Saga Dawa and you can see every Tibetans eating vegetables in restaurant after finishing their circumambulation.
- Tibetan peoples busy with visiting various monasteries.
- Tibetan peoples’ generosity to the poor people by giving them material help.
- After finished visiting monasteries, Tibetans will go for picnics in different picnic centres in Lhasa.
- Even in picnics, older Tibetans mumbling mantras by rosary in left hand and small prayer wheel in their right hand.