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Although Tibet tour is amazing enough, your tour experience will be more fantastic accompanied by some top festivals when you visit Tibet. You can catch a brief view of these great festivals and plan your Tibet tour more considerably to add more interests to your tour experience.

The festivals in Tibet are various, which is held according to the Tibetan Calendar. Among these festivals, Saga Dawa Festival, Losar Festival, Shoton Festival, and Gyantse Damar Festival are quite famous among Tibetans and tourists. Some festivals are related to painting and others have links with Buddhist temples and customs in local places. More than 20 festivals may be held in the whole year, which offers tourists a chance to join Tibetans to dance and sing together.

Most of these traditional festivals are associated with the religion and culture in Tibet. When it comes to celebrating a festival, the ways may also differ in various areas.

Here we would like to recommend 4 of these well-known festivals for you when you decide to have a trip to Tibet. After all Tibet is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. And worth visiting

Top Festivals for Tibet Tour

Saga Dawa Festival

Saga Dawa Festival is held on the 15th day of the 4th month of Tibetan Calendar, for Tibetans believe this day is the birthday of Gautama Buddha. The whole month that this festival falls on is for pilgrimages to sacred locations, practicing dana and making other merits. You will not see Tibetans have meat on the festival day and only vegetarian food is available in their meals on that day.

During this festival, you will see Tibetans are dedicated to worshipping diverse monasteries and going picnic around Lhasa city. A wonderful method to experience this festival is to take part in the crowds to go to the foot of Potala Palace to visit the Dzongyab Lukhang Park for a picnic in the late afternoon. 

You can also join the crowds of Tibetan people to kora around the Lingkhor, Barkhor, and Mount Kailash during this festival to experience and feel their piety. 

Buddhist Monks will also chant in various monasteries and perform certain religious some religious activities associated with this festival.

The best time for you to visit Tibet if you want to take part in this festival is in May or June. You can check out this festival falls in which date in the solar calendar in the year you plan to begin your Tibet tour.

Lhasa is the best place for you to experience this occasion, for this city has several famous monasteries for you to visit and join in the kora during this festival. You can also go to Mount Kailash to spend this festival in Tibet.

Losar Festival

Losar Festival is also the Tibetan New Year festival, which is the time to throw away old memories and begin a new life in the New Year. You will see fresh enthusiasm everywhere in Tibet, which starts from the December 29th on the Tibetan calendar and will last for almost half a month.

As you know that Buddhist beliefs have influenced Tibetans lives to a great degree and their traditions can reflect this aspect clearly. This festival is quite significant for their religion and Tibetans will try their best to amuse the deities of Tibetan. They will also pray for a great harvest in the New Year. It is a means to appreciate God for all good things in life, and everyone will celebrate this festival happily.

On December 29th, you can see Tibetans have “Guthuk” and share happiness with the whole family. You will also have the chance to watch the breathtaking ritual to expel ghosts. The following days will be filled with the activities to clean house, alter fragrant curtain, see neighbors and hang prayer flags. By far, this festival is the most significant occasion in Tibet just like the Chinese New Year festival for people to get together to do lots of prayer actions. You can also see numerous outdoor activities as well, like Lamas going through fire torches, dancing, singing, and interesting fights between the king and his ministers and joyful performances.

If you want to experience this festival, you can check out on the Internet to identify which date it falls on in Gregorian calendar. Generally, it falls in February or March in Solar Calendar, and sometimes it is the same day with or quite near the Chinese New Year.

As for where to enjoy this festival in Tibet, you can actually stay in one of the best areas in  Lhasa or visit some monasteries during this festival to embrace the coming of the New Year. You can also choose to stay in a guesthouse in Tibet to experience the local traditions and customs in the local area.

Shoton Festival

Another very popular festival in Tibet is the Shoton Festival, which brings Tibetans together to have a good time. This wonderful occasion has altered its meaning with years passing by and now it represents 3 major things. The first one is associated with Tibetan opera, and other two are related with a yogurt banquet and the Buddha unfolding. The monks in monasteries will finish their seasonal mediation and begin to celebrate this great festival in the retreats, which has influenced the culture of Tibetan to a great extent.

During this festival, both visitors and the locals will join together to enjoy the amusing performances, exhilarating entertainment and wonderful competitions. Tibetan opera also add more great performances to this festival, which is stunning. By attending this festival, tourists can get a special feeling.  

Shoton Festival is also called the Yoghurt Festival, which falls on 30th June of the Tibetan calendar and lasts for 5 days every year. It is always August of Solar Calendar when this festival begins. As for 2018, it will be on August 11st of Solar Calendar. It is held in the peak season for Tibet tour. You can arrange your time to plan the Shoton Festival trip in Tibet.

If you want to experience this festival to a full, you can go to the Drepung Monastery, for the scintillating Buddha exhibition will take place in this location and you can hear the horn’s sound reverberating in the valley. The electrifying atmosphere will leave you a lifetime impression. The unveiling of Thangka has unique importance. You should know that the major celebrating activities will be centered on the western area of Lhasa city.

Gyantse Damar Festival

According to legend, Gyantse Damar Festival was once an athletic match, which has become one significant inter-village competition. It is also called the Gyantse Horse Racing Festival. You can see various competitions during this festival in Gynatse, such as horse contests, wrestling, and archery contests. 

The popular activities also include Tibetan Opera, singing, dancing, field and ball, and track recreational items. You can also have an opportunity to go to the open market to purchase some authentic Tibetan crafts commodities as souvenirs. Just like you do in the markets in Mexico.. 

If you want to try some typical Tibetan food, you can also go for a picnic with some locals during this festival. It is really a wonderful time for athletes and artists to compete with each other and have fun in the filed full of beautiful flowers and picturesque scenery. You can also view the yak races, which will offer you much fun in the Tibet tour experience. Buddhist worship activities and weightlifting competitions can also be watched during this festival.

This festival usually falls in the 4th lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, which may be in June or July of the Solar Calendar. You can manage your time sensibly to enjoy this fun festival in Tibet.

As for where is the best place to take part in this festival, absolutely, it is the Gyantse Town, which can be deduced from its name. With the wonderful scenery and lively atmosphere, you will be surely satisfied with this amazing experience.

To travel in Tibet during these festivals mentioned above will be an enriching and gorgeous experience. You can know more about the culture and religion essence of Tibetans. 

As for the time of these festivals is not arranged according to the Solar Calendar, you can consult a reliable agency like us to know the detailed date and information of the one you are interested in. Thus, you can book a Tibet tour group sensibly and have a perfect festival trip in Tibet.

About Me

Chaing Mai Backpacking

Hi, I’m Stephen Schreck (pronounced like Shrek; but don’t worry, I’m not green.)

At 21 I fell in love with travel. Since then my adventures have taken me to over 80 countries in 8 years.

Now my biggest passion is helping people just like you, reach their travel dreams!

Read 101 Fun and Interesting Facts About Me


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      3 thoughts on “4 Fun and Exciting Festivals for Tibet Tour –”

      1. Those photos are just amazing! I haven’t been there, yet! But festivals is one of the thing I really enjoy when I travel. Seeing different culture, those colors ! Awww! One of my favorite was Holi – festival of colors in India and Thaipusam in Malaysia – the most insane I have been -I reccommend seeing this wild dance, mass cruel piercing and music.

      2. The pictures of these festivals make me want to go to Tibet straight away! Do you think booking a tour is the best way to see the country, is that what you did? I haven’t ever been on a tour before but am no apposed to the idea of it, I guess it is a great way to make friends when backpacking alone

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