It must be wired for foreigners to hear that we don’t know when it is exactly our festival. Besides the universal solar calendar, Tibet has our own Tibetan calendar, and all our festivals are based on it, thus lands on different solar days every year.
Their exact solar date of Tibetan Festival is calculated each year a few months prior by astrologers from Mentse Khang, aka. Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute, which in charges of researching for Tibetan medicine and calculating Tibetan calendar.
At the time of writing, we guess and calculate ourselves of the solar dates in 2017, may not be most accurate but at the very least you can know roughly which month in 2017.
|Tibetan Festival 2017||Sola Calendar
|Tibetan New Year(Losar)||2017-02-27||All over Tibet|
|Butter Lantern Festival||2017-03-12||Jokhang Temple|
|Tsurphu Cham Dance Festival||2017-06-05||Tsurphu Monastery|
|Saga Dawa Festival||2017-06-09||All over Tibet|
|Tashilhunpo Thangka Festival||2017-07-08||Tashilhunpo Monastery|
|Samye Festival||2017-07-09||Samye Monastery|
|Gyantse Horse Race Festival||2017-07-10||Gyantse|
|Ganden Thangka Festival||2017-08-01||Gandan Monastery|
|Nagqu Horse Race Festival||2017-08-08||Nagqu|
Tibetan New Year(Losar): Tibetan New Year, the traditional New Year for all the Tibetans, is one of the most important festivals celebrated by monks and ordinary people altogether. All kinds of foods have been already prepared on the Tibetan New Year’s Eve. Gutu, a special food for Tibet New Year, is usually filled with various kinds of stuffs, including stone, pepper, charcoal, etc.
Butter Lantern Festival: All the lanterns surrounding ancient Barkor Street are made of butter oil, flour and kinds of dyestuff. When the night comes, hundreds of thousands of butter lanterns would be lighted up at the same time and colorful statues are extremely lifelike. The spectacular statues of gods, figures, animals and plants, magnificent or exquisite, and thousands of brilliant butter lanterns light the whole street.
Tsurphu Cham Dance Festival: Cham dance, also called Qiangmu in Tibetan language, is one of the major events in summer dharma assembly at Tsurphu Monastery. It’s a traditional religious dance performed by Tibetan Buddhists. The ceremony has already been hold for thousands of years and varied with specific contents. Monks would wear robes with masks on and equip themselves with colorful ribbons and shields.
Saga Dawa Festival: Saga Dawa Festival is one of the holiest festivals for Tibetan Buddhists as three memorable events coincide on the same day: Sakyamuni’s birth, enlightenment and nirvana. A swarm of sincere Tibetan Buddhists would circle around Jokhang Monastery and Barkhor Street.
Tashilhunpo Thangka Festival: Tashilhunpo Thangka Festival has a history of more than 500 years. Three different thangkas would be unfurled respectively so as to remind people to cherish the past, enjoy happy lives and hold hope for the future during three days.
Samye Festival: Held over two or three days, the main events here are elaborate ritual ceremonies and cham dancing in front of the Utse. Tibetans spend overnights at Samye and see religious dances, most of people also go to circumambulate holy mountains by carrying holy scriptures on their shoulder all the way in order to wash out sins and earn merits for their present and future life.
Gyantse Horse Race Festival: This largely secular festival in Gyantse, featuring such fun and games as line dances, yak races, archery and equestrian events. A large 480-year old thangka is unfurled at sunrise.
Ganden Thangka Festival: Ganden Monastery displays its 25 holiest relics, which are normally locked away. A large offering ceremony accompanies the unveiling.
Nagqu Horse Race Festival: An important event in northern Tibet, thousands of nomads head to Nagqu for a week of horse racing, archery and other traditional nomad sports.
Shoton Festival: Since shoton means yogurt, Shoton Festival with abundant activities, also named Yogurt Festival, is one of the most solemn Tibetan festivals. A grand Tibetan opera and Buddhist ceremony would be held on this day.