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…
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 three…
Religious in Lhasa

Saga Dawa

The 15th day (full moon) of the fourth lunar month 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 wad of one-m…
Religious in Tsurphu Valley

Tsurphu Festival

Tsurphu has an annual festival from the eighth to the 11th days of the fourth Tibetan month during Saga Dawa. There's plenty of free-flowing chang (Tibetan barley beer), as well as the raising of the darchen (prayer…
Religious in Tibet

Losar Festival

New Year celebrations take place in the first week of the first lunar month, with performances of Tibetan opera, prayer ceremonies at the Jokhang and Nechung Monastery, and the streets thronged with Tibetans dressed…
Cultural in Nam-tso

Dajyur Horse Festival

The hippodome (horse-racing stadium) outside the county town of Damxung (འདམ་གཞུང་རྫོང་།, 当雄, Dāngxióng) hosts a week-long horse festival at the end of the seventh Tibetan month, generally July or August. Expect hor…
Religious in Lhasa

Shötun Festival

The first week of the seventh lunar month 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 some epic…
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. Check for processions and monk dances at the monasteries at Ganden, Ser…
Cultural in Samye

Samye Dhoede

Celebrated on the 15th day of the fifth Tibetan month, this festival sees a large thankga displayed down the side of the Geku and ritual cham dances performed for three days in the square to the east of the Ütse.
Religious in Lhasa

Drepung Festival

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