Religious in Darchen & Mt Kailash

Saga Dawa

The festival of Saga Dawa marks the enlightenment of Sakyamuni, and occurs on the full-moon day of the fourth Tibetan month. In the Kailash region the highlight is the raising of the Tarboche prayer pole in the morn…
Religious in Lhasa

Saga Dawa

The 15th day (full moon) of the fourth lunar month (May/June) sees huge numbers of pilgrims walking and prostrating along the Lingkhor and Barkhor pilgrim circuits. Follow the locals’ cue and change ¥10 into a fat w…
Cultural in Shigatse

Tashilhunpo Monastery Festival

During the second week of the fifth lunar month (around June/July), Tashilhunpo Monastery becomes the scene of a three-day festival, featuring masked dances, the creation of a sand mandala and the unveiling of a hug…
Religious in Tsurphu Monastery

Tsurphu Festival

Tsurphu has an annual festival from the eighth to the 11th days of the fourth Tibetan month. There's plenty of free-flowing chang (Tibetan barley beer), as well as the raising of the darchen (prayer pole; eighth day…
Cultural in Gyantse

Dhama Festival

If you happen to be in Tibet in mid-July, you can catch Gyantse's three-day Dhama Festival, featuring 19 local villages trying to outdo each other in horse races, yak races, wrestling and traditional dances. Accommo…
Religious in Lhasa

Losar Festival

New Year celebrations take place in the first week of the first lunar month (February), with performances of Tibetan opera, prayer ceremonies at the Jokhang and Nechung Monastery, and the streets thronged with Tibet…
Religious in Lhasa

Shötun Festival

The first week of the seventh lunar month (August) sees the unveiling of a giant thangka at Drepung Monastery; festivities then move down to Sera and to the Norbulingka for performances of lhamo (Tibetan opera) and …
Religious in Lhasa

Tsongkhapa Festival

Much respect is shown to Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa order, on the anniversary of his death on the 25th day of the 10th lunar month (December). Check for processions and monk dances at the monasteries at …
Religious in Lhasa

Drepung Festival

The 30th day of the sixth lunar month (July) is celebrated with the hanging at dawn of a huge thangka at Drepung Monastery. Lamas and monks perform opera in the main courtyard.
Religious in Lhasa

Chökor Düchen

This festival sees Lhasa residents trek up to the summit of Gambo Ütse Ri, the high peak behind Drepung Monastery. In the olden days even the Dalai Lama would ascend the peak, riding atop a white yak.