Tibet (PRWEB) December 20, 2013
Tibet's unique culture and customs are world famous. For a better cultural experience, it is advisable to visit Tibet during a Tibetan festival. Travelers will enjoy authentic local culture by watching Tibetans doing religious activities, like doing ritual walks, hanging prayer flags and worshiping Buddha, as well as showing Tibetan performances. Tibetans celebrate various festivals throughout the year. For travelers' reference, Tibet Travel Org CITS, the top online Tibet tour operator, has made a Tibetan Festival Tour Calendar for the year 2014.
"Once we got the newly published Tibetan calendar, we began to make a festival calendar focusing on the major festivals in Tibet. You can download the calendar on our website, and plan accordingly," said Mrs. Catherine Go, manager of Tibet Travel Org CITS.
"You will get much more cultural experience if you visit Tibet during a Tibetan festival. We have designed several tours for the major festivals. We also offer tailor-made service to meet different travelers' requirements," Catherine continued.
On the Tibet tour calendar offered by Tibet Travel Org CITS, over 15 festivals are listed, including the following popular ones.
1. Losar Festival/Tibetan New Year 2014
Date: March 2 (Gregorian calendar), January 1 (Tibetan calendar)
Celebrations: The festival, like Christmas for westerners and Spring Festival for Chinese, is an occasion of family reunion. Celebrations last for 15 days, but the highlights fall on the first three days. Tibetans will wear their finest clothes, go to temples to worship Buddha and offer gifts to monks, visit neighbors and friends, take part in religious activities and stage folk performance.
2. Butter Lantern Festival 2014
Date: March 16 (Gregorian calendar), January 15 (Tibetan calendar)
Celebrations: It is the last high tide of celebrations of the Tibetan New Year. On this day, Tibetans go to temples to burn incense and worship Buddha. They watch a lantern show in the evening. Beautiful lanterns in forms of gods, figures, flowers and trees, birds and beasts make the whole street as bright as day.
3. Saga Dawa Festival 2014
Date: June 13 (Gregorian calendar), April 15 (Tibetan calendar)
Celebrations: It is an influential religious festival in Tibet. According to Tibetan Buddhism, Sakyamuni was born, became Buddha and died in April. It is believed that good deeds and prayers are multiplied thousand fold during this holy event. Tibetan Buddhists are engaged in various religious activities. The highlights of the festival fall on the fifteenth day.
4. Tashilunpo Festival 2014
Date: July 10-12 (Gregorian calendar), May 13-15 (Tibetan calendar)
Celebrations: The festival lasts for three days. Travelers can see thangkas of different Buddhas exhibited at dawn each day. Buddha Amitabha is exhibited on the first day, reminding people to cherish memories of the past; Buddha Sakyamuni on the second day, asking people to pray for a happy life; Buddha Maitreya on the third day, encouraging people to hold expectations for a good future.
5. Ganden Thangka Festival 2014
Date: August 10 (Gregorian calendar), June 15 (Tibetan calendar)
Celebrations: The festival celebrates the enlightenment of Tsongkhapa, a well-known religious philosopher in Tibet. Thousands of Tibetan Buddhists climb to the top of the hill near Ganden Monastery to watch the sunrise as they chant prayers. The highlight is the unveiling of a gigantic Thangka of Buddha, 200 feet wide and 150 feet long.
6. Shoton Festival 2014
Date: August 25 (Gregorian calendar), June 30 (Tibetan calendar)
Celebrations: As one of the grandest transitional festivals in Tibet, its celebrations last for several days, with Tibetan opera performances, thangka unfolding ceremony, and entertainment and religion activities. On August 25, travelers can see a huge thangka unveiled at Drepung Monastery. They will then go to Norbulingka to watch Tibetan opera, and take part in religious activities.
7. Nagchu Horse Racing Festival 2014
Date: August 10 (Gregorian calendar)
Celebrations: It is the most important festival in northern Tibet and usually lasts for one week. Various activities are held in Qiangtang Grassland, one of the five largest pastures in China. More than 10,000 nomads enjoy the grand festival with their tents, children and animals.
About Tibet Travel ORG CITS
Tibet Travel ORG CITS (http://www.tibettravel.org) is a local based tour operator, sending more than 1,000 individual travelers and over 100 tour groups to Tibet annually. It helps travelers obtain the Tibet Travel Permits, book air/train tickets to Tibet and customize their tours.