The Ongkor Festival

  • Celebrated: Aug.
  • Location: Lhasa

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 racing, dancing, Tibetan Opera, wrestling and stone holding.

History

Each year the festival is celebrated within the farming areas, allowing for rest after a busy harvest season. With hope that the people will have a good harvest, the name "Ongkor" in the Tibetan language means "surrounding the farmland."

Originally a religious festival, celebrated by praying for the harvest, it was first held in the lower Yarlung Zangbo River region. Presently it is held in Tsedang in the Lhoka Region.

Rituals

Enjoy the people dressed in their splendid Tibetan robes, jewelry of gold and silver adorning their body, as they march with scripture book and a measure for grain, a dou. Ritual trumpets can be heard, and drums pound the rhythm as the villagers shout, "Yangguxiu! Yangguxiu!", which means "Come back, the soul of the earth!"

Travel Information

The date of the festival depends on the crops, but it is usually held in August. Tsedang has several hotels and is about a three-hour drive from Lhasa.

Related Reading

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Hi, I'm Gavin Van Hinsbergh
I updated this article on April 23, 2013
See all my travel articles

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