Tibetan New Year (February - March):
It is the greatest festival in Tibet. In ancient times when the peach tree was in blossom, it was considered as the starting of a new year. Since the systematization of the Tibetan calendar in 1027 AD., the first day of the first month became fixed as the new year. On the New Year's day, families unite " auspicious dipper" is offered and the auspicious words " Tashi Delek" are greeted.
Butter Oil Lantern Festival (February or March):
It's held on the 15th of the first lunar month. Huge yak-butter sculptures are placed around Lhasa's Barkhor circuit.
Saga Dawa Festival (May - June):
It is the holiest in Tibet, their memorable occasions coincide on this day, Buddha's birth and Buddha's enlightenment. Almost every person within Lhasa join in circumambulations around the city and spend their late afternoon on a picnic at " Dzongyab Lukhang" park at the foot of Potala. Nowadays celebrated around Mt. Kailash area too.
Gyantse Horse Race & Archery (May or June):
Horse race and archer are generally popular in Tibet, and Gyantse enjoys the prestige of being the earliest in history by starting in 1408. Contests in early times included horse race, archery, and shooting on gallop followed by a few days' entertainment or picnicking. Presently, ball games, track and field events, folk songs and dances, barter trade are in addition to the above.
Changtang Chechen Horse Race Festival (August):
There are many horse racing festivals in Tibet, the one in Nagqu of Northern Tibet is the greatest. Herdsmen, on their horsebacks, in colorful dresses, carrying tents and local products, pour into Nagqu. Various exciting programs are held, such as horse racing, yak racing, archery, horsemanship and commodity fair.
Shoton Festival (August):
One of the major festivals in Tibet, also known as the Tibetan Opera Festival. Tsongkhapa set the rule that Buddhists can cultivate themselves only indoor in summer, to avoid killing other creatures carelessly. Because creatures are most active in summer. This rule must be carried out until the seventh lunar month. Then Buddhists go outdoor, accept yogurt served by local people, and have fun. Since the middle of the 17th century, the Fifth Dalai Lama added opera performance to this festival. Famous Tibetan opera troupes perform in Norbulingka (Dalai Lama's summer palace).
Bathing Festival (September):
It is believed when the sacred planet Venus appears in the sky, the water in the river becomes purest and cures diseases. During its appearance for one week, usually the end of the seventh and beginning of the eighth lunar months, all the people in Tibet go into the river to wash away the grime of the previous year.
Harvest Festival (September):
Celebrating by the farmers of their bummer harvest in Lhasa, Gyantse, and Shangnan this time. During this time, people enjoy horse racing games, custom fashion show, songs, and dance Archery, and picnic, etc.
Kung by Traditional Festival (November - December):
To memorize those brave soldiers who defend their homeland Kongpo people present three sacrifices a stay up at night from then on. It was in September and the soldiers worried that they might miss the New Year, highland barley wine and other good things. So people had the Tibetan New Year on 1st October ahead of time. And now it has become the Kongpo Festival for entertainment like Kongpo dancing, horse race, archery, and shooting.
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