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Tibetan Festival Calendar 2024

Written by Carol WangUpdated Dec. 14, 2020

There are many different Tibetan festivals. 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.

Festival Venue Events The year 2024
Tibetan New Year All Tibetan areas Tibetan New Year is characterized especially by dancing, music, and a general spirit of merrymaking...
Feb. 10
The Monlam Prayer Festival Jokhang Monastery Monks perform traditional Tibetan Buddhist dances during Monlam Prayer Festival, and cakes are made with butter sculptures...
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Feb.13 - 20
The Butter Lamp Festival Jokhang Monastery People sing and dance throughout the night, and thousands of lights are kept burning until dawn...
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Feb. 24
Saga Dawa Lhasa Saga Dawa is the peak time to worship Buddha for Tibetans, and a peak time for pilgrimages...
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May. 23
The Thangka Unveiling at Tashilunpo Tashilunpo Monastery The big Thangka with a Buddha image on it is unfolded, and the people all gather in front of the Thangka to pray...
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Jun. 22
Zamling Chisang
(Samye Dhoede)
Samye Monastery The Festival is is to celebrate Guru Rinpoche's subjugation of the local deities and the founding of the Samye Monastery...
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Jun. 22
Gyantse Horse Race Festival Gyantse An annual athletic contest on the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar...
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Jul. 5
Buddha's Sermon Festival All Tibetan areas The Festival is to commemorate Shakyamuni Buddha's first teaching and the first turning of the Wheel of Dharma... N/A
The Ganden Thangka Showing Ganden Monastery A big Thangka with a Buddha image on it is unveiled at Ganden Monastery...
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Jul. 21
Nagqu Horse Racing Festival Nagqu Horse Racing Festival is the grandest annual event in western China's Nagqu Prefecture...
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Aug. 9
Shoton Festival Lhasa A big thangka with an image of Buddha on it is unveiled at Drepung Monastery. People enjoy yogurt together on this day...
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Aug. 04
Tibetan Bathing Festival
(Garma Ri Gi)
Lhasa Tibetans of all ages go to the rivers to take a holy bath for washing away evil omens or illnesses... Sep. 19
Buddha's Descent Day
(Lhabab Duchen)
Lhasa A Tibetan Buddhist festival that commemorates Buddha returning to earth after going to the 33 Heaven at the age of 41... Nov. 22
Palden Lhamo Festival Lhasa This festival is to honor a wrathful deity called Palden Lhamo... Dec. 15

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