Tibet Festivals and Activities
Time of the Tibetan New Year
Tibetan New YearThe time of the Tibetan New year is on the first day of the first month of Tibetan calendar. Due to the algorithms, the Tibetan New Year and Lunar New Year's date is not exactly the same. Generally speaking, there are four cases: the Tibetan New Year's Day and the Lunar New Year completely overlap, different by one day, by one month or one month and one day.
According to the Tibetan calendar theory, every 32 and a half months should have a leap month, so the dates of Tibetan Calendar and the Chinese New Year forming a specific "three years cycle": the new year’s day is the same dates of the two calendar in the first year, lone day different in second year, the third year of a month different and then recycled.
Losar of the Tibetan calendar starts from mid-December since the beginning every year. Tibetan Losar is beginning on December 29 in Tibetan Calendar.
Tibetan Losar begins on January 1.to January 15, lasting for 15 days.
Shoton Festival in Tibet
Shoton FestivalShoton is the transliteration of two Tibetan words which mean 'Yoghurt Banquet'. In ancient times, folks went into mountain hermitages to do penance. On the last day of the festival, Yoghurt is served as meal followed by folk song and dances.
To celebrate the Shoton Festival, artists give the performances at Norbulingka. Besides, an annual ceremony of showing the Buddha's paintings is held at Drepung Monastery. Tibetan local operas were added to festival celebrations which were held around monasteries in Lhasa.
Date: The 30th day of the sixth Tibetan lunar month
Place: Lhasa, Shigatse
Butter Lamp Festival in Tibet
Butter Lamp Festival in TibetButter Lamp Festival in Tibet is the last high tide of the New Year and the celebration of Buddha's Miracle Day. Lamas and artisans make butter sculptures of figures, flowers, birds and animals and display them on the shelves at Jokhang Monastery, which are lit by lanterns as night falls.
On this day, people go to temples to burn incense to worship Buddha. As darkness falls, they will put up many stands to display the butter lanterns they made themselves. The stands go as high as three-storey buildings; even the lower ones are two-storey high. The lanterns are either grand or small. The lights make the whole street bright as in the day. People sing and dance while enjoying the lanterns. The Butter Lantern Festival is also called Lantern Festival.
Date: The 15th day of the first Tibetan lunar month