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Tibet Festivals

There are about 30 different Tibetan festivals making up our list of Lhasa festivals and events. Tibetan New Year, the Shoton Festival and the Thangka Festival, when a giant Buddha painting is unfurled, are the highlights. Other festivals are associated with Buddhist monasteries and local traditions and customs.

Lhasa is center of all things Tibetan, so a Lhasa tour, especially one including a minority festival, is the ideal way to experience the culture of Tibet.

Lhasa Festivals and Events List

Monlam Prayer Festival

Mar. 4, 2015 to to Mar. 26, 2015

The Monlam prayer festival is actually almost a two week event. The festival starts on the fourth day of the Tibetan calender and ends of the fifteenth day that is the day called the Butter Lamp Fes... Read more

Tibetan Butter Lamp Festival

Dec. 16, 2014 to 

This delicious-sounding festival involves lighting butter lamps (lamps made of butter) and displaying butter sculptures in order to commemorate Shakyamuni Buddha’s great debating victory over his op... Read more

Saga Dawa Festival

Jun. 2014

The Saga Dawa Festival honors the life of Buddha. According to their tradition, when Buddha was dying, he instructed one of his followers not to honor him merely with flowers, incense and lights ... Read more

The Homage to Buddhas First Sermon Festival

Buddha Shakyamuni's First TeachingThe Choekor Duechen (or Chokor Duchen) Festival is to commemorate Shakyamuni Buddha’s first teaching and the first turning of the Wheel of Dharma and the teaching o... Read more

Garma Ri Gi (Tibetan Bathing Festival)

Garma Ri Gi or the Bathing Festival is a mass activity throughout Tibet that takes place on the 7th month of the Tibetan Lunar calendar when Venus appears in the sky. It is an annual week-long fest... Read more

Palden Lhamo Festival

The Palden Lhamo festival happens on the 15th day of the 10th lunar month in the Tibetan calendar. This festival is to honor a wrathful deity called Palden Lhamo. She is thought of as Tibet's prote... Read more

Tsongkapa Festival Stresses Prayers, Chants

Nov. 2013

The Tsongkhapa Festival, celebrated not only in Tibet, but throughout the Buddhist world, is a simple event. People light butter lamps and pray to Je Tsongkhapa, a 14th century Buddhist monk who fo... Read more

Tibetans Celebrate New Year by Driving Evil Spirits Off

Jan. 29, 2015 to 

Tibetans like to start off the new calendar year with a fresh start. To this end, they celebrate the Driving-off-the-Evil-Spirits festival every 29th day of the last Tibetan Month. The biggest ce... Read more

Cham in Tshurpu Monastery

May. 20, 2014 to 

The Cham in Tshurpu Monastery is held annually during the fourth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar. It commemorates the famous Indian monk Padmasambhava, who traveled to Tibet and neighboring coun... Read more

Start of the Shigatse Thangka Festival (Buddha Unfolding Festival)

Jul. 11, 2014 to to Jul. 13, 2014

Between the 14th day and the 16th day of the fifth Tibetan lunar calendar month, there is an annual Thangka worship festival where huge Thangka pictures are displayed at the Tashilhunpo Monastery... Read more

The Ongkor Festival

Aug. 26, 2014 to to Sep. 25, 2014

The Ongkor Festival or Bumper Harvest Festival, as it is also known, takes place in late summer when crops are waiting to be harvested. Included in the fun activities are singing, shooting, horse... Read more

Ganden Thangka Festival

Aug. 10, 2014 to to Aug. 15, 2014

The Ganden Thangka Festival is an important festival at the old Ganden Monastery that was the leading monastery of the Geluk tradition of Tibet. Every year, thousands of people circle the monaste... Read more

Lhabab Duechen Festival

Nov. 2014

The Lhabab Duechen or Duchen Festival is a Tibetan Buddhist festival that commemorates Buddha returning to earth after going to the 33 Heaven at the age of 41. The festival is in the ninth month of ... Read more

Sera Monastery Festival

Feb. 2015

Celebrated: February 14, 2014 Location: Lhasa With about 500-year history, it is the largest and most popular festival held annually in Sera Monastery, one of the oldest temples in Tibet for Buddhis... Read more

World Incense Festival

Aug. 2014

The legend goes that the World Incense Day is when God in the heaven come to the earth, and the pilgrims will come to the Linka Park of Lhasa to burn incenses and wait for the coming of the God of H... Read more

The Exorcism Festival

Dec. 29, 2014 to 

Tourists looking to experience the charm of the Zang nationality should not miss the annual Exorcism Festival in the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.Festival Activities Torch, costume and yell, exo... Read more

Reincarnation and Transmigration of Buddhas Warrior Attendant

May. 2, 2014 to to May. 3, 2014

Celebrated: May 2, 201 Buddha Warrior Attendant 4Location: LhasaIt’s said that Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, preached Paramadibuddha (one of Buddhist scriptures) after his enlightenment on the d... Read more

The Sunning of Buddha Festival

Jun. 6, 2014 to 

The Sunning of Buddha Festival is held yearly in Kangding Prefecture, Garze Autonomous Prefecture and Sichuan Province on the 8th day of the 4th month according to Tibetan calendar, during which the... Read more

Tibetans Celebrate Lingka Festival in Summer Months

Jul. 2014

Summer time is Lingka Festival time in Tibet. This unique holiday isn't a short one, however. It starts on the 15th day of the fourth Tibetan month and ends during the eighth Tibetan month, a peri... Read more

Zamling Chisang (Samye Dolde)

Jun. 28, 2014 to to Jul. 12, 2014

On the 15th day of the 5th month of the Tibetan calendar that is July 15 in 2011 and July 3 in 2012, there is a traditional festival called Zamling Chisang or Universal Prayer Day to celebrate Gur... Read more

Tibet Shoton Festival

Aug. 26, 2014 to to Aug. 30, 2014

The Shoton Festival is one of the most popular traditional festivals in Tibet. It celebrates eating yogurt, the Tibetan monks who end their season of meditation, the watching of Tibetan dramatic ope... Read more

Nagqu Horse Racing Festival

Sep. 2014

The Nagqu Horse Racing Festival is the grandest annual event in northern China's Nagqu Prefecture, the largest prefecture in Tibet Autonomous Region, aka Tibet, and indeed, the grandest annual event... Read more

Gyantse Horse Race Festival

Jun. 8, 2014 to to Jun. 27, 2014

In rugged beautiful high-altitude country about 245 kilometers southwest of Lhasa is the ancient town of Gynatse where there are annual athletic contests on the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan ... Read more