Festivals

Tibetan New Year/Losar Festival

The most important festival in the Tibetan calendar, Losar is celebrated over a period of two weeks, falling between the months of December and January. Losar is characterized by dance, music and folk reenactments of various battles won by the ancient Tibetan king. Numerous ceremonies and performances depict the struggle between good and evil.

Shoton Festival

Normally held in August, falling in between the sixth and seventh months of the Tibetan calendar, Shoton commemorates Tibetan Buddhism and the monks who end their seasons of meditation during this time. Lhasa is a particularly exciting place to partake in this festival, where Tibetan opera troupes arrive in the palace grounds near Norbulinka to perform along with the annual religious ceremonies, dances, and horse and yak races.

Nagqu Horse Racing Festival

Held annually in August on the vast grasslands of the Nagqu Prefecture, the Nagqu horse races attract Tibetan herding families from all over Tibet, who establish tented camps in the area from which to enjoy the festivities. The colorful festival activities include equestrian competitions such as races and mounted archery, as well as traditional song, dances and performances.