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 Most Popular Tibet Festivals in 2023

Most Popular Tibet Festivals in 2023

Written by Kelly PangUpdated Dec. 28, 2022

There are many 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 the 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

Tibet Shoton Festival in 2023

Aug. 16

Shoton is Tibetan. Sho means 'yogurt', while ton means 'feast'. So the Shoton Festival is the day for eating yogurt. Recently, the main event of the Shoton Festival has been Tibetan dramatic operas, so it is called Tibetan Operas Festival... Read more

Tibetan New Year/Losar in 2023 - The Most Important Festival in Tibet

Feb. 21 

Tibetan New Year is the most important festival in the Tibetan calendar, also known as Losar. Losar has rich and interesting activities, including chanting, the passing of fire torches, and dancing. However, Tibet is not open to foreigners during the festival... Read more

Monlam Prayer Festival in 2023

Feb.24 - Mar. 7 

The Monlam Prayer Festival, celebrated from the fourth day to the fifteenth day of the Tibetan calendar, is a festival for Buddhists to remember the miracles Buddha did and pray. You can visit the temples and see thousands of Buddhists worship during the Monlam Festival...Read more

Tibet Butter Lamp Festival in 2023

Mar. 7 

The Tibetan Butter Lamp Festival falls on the fifteenth day of the Tibetan calendar. On that day, locals and Buddhists use Tibetan butter and pigment to make exquisite sculptures to commemorate Shakyamuni Buddha's great legend... Read more

Saga Dawa Festival in 2023

Jun. 4 

Saga Dawa Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar. This festival honors the whole life of Shakyamuni Buddha. Massive activities, including going to temples, praying, and lighting plenty of butter lamps, are held... Read more

Buddha's Sermon Festival in 2023

Jul. 21

Buddha Shakyamuni's First Teaching The 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 teac... Read more

Tibetan Bathing Festival (Garma Ri Gi) in 2023

Aug. 22

Garma Ri Gi is Tibetan for the 'bathing festival'. This festival is an annual week-long festival. During the seven days, men and women, young and old, all go down into the river to take a bath... Read more

Palden Lhamo Festival in 2023

Nov. 27

Palden Lhamo Festival honors a wrathful deity named Palden Lhamo. People consider her as a deity that protects the main leaders of the Tibetan religion: the Panchen Lama and the Dalai Lama. You can go to Barkhor Street to see the worship of the goddess...Read more

The Thangka Unveiling at Tashilhunpo in 2023

Jul. 4

As the political, economic, and cultural center of the Tibetan religion, there are many religious festivals held in Lhasa. The Thangka Unveiling at Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of them. It is a Thangka worship festival where huge Thangkas (Buddhist tapestries) are displayed... Read more

Ganden Thangka Festival in 2023

Aug. 1

Ganden Thangka Festival is an important annual festival at the ancient Ganden Monastery. On the ninth day of the sixth month of the Tibetan calendar, people circle the ruins of the temple, enter inside to view the Buddha thangka (tapestry), pray, and get blessed... Read more

Buddha's Descent Day (Lhabab Duchen) in 2023

Nov. 4

The Lhabab Duchen festival, also called Duchen Festival, is a Tibetan Buddhist festival that celebrates Shakyamuni Buddha returning to earth after going to the 33 heavens to save his mother. The date falls on the 22nd day of the ninth month of the Tibetan calendar...Read more

Zamling Chisang (Samye Dhoede) in 2023

May 15

Zamling Chisang is a festival that celebrates the founding of Samye Monastery and the achievements of Guru Rinpoche. It falls on the fifteenth day of the fifth month of the Tibetan calendar. It is a traditional festival with strong Tibet characteristics... Read more

Nagqu Horse Racing Festival in 2023

Jul/Aug

The Tibetan (Zang) ethnicity has a special emotional connection with horses, as do most nomadic peoples of the world. Nagqu Horse Racing Festival is the greatest and grandest festival in Northern Tibet. If you are planning a Tibet tour in the summer, you shouldn't miss it...Read more

Gyantse Horse Race Festival in 2023

Apr

Gyantse is an ancient town in Tibet, which was important in Tibetan history. Gyantse Horse Race Festival is the grandest festival in the region of Shigatse. People wear their characteristic ethnic costumes to attend the festival... Read more

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