Tibet, the Tibetan calendar lags approximately four to six weeks behind the solar calendar. For example, the Tibetan First Month usually falls in February, the Fifth Month usually falls in June or early July and the Eight Month usually falls in September.
List of traditional Tibetan festivals [ edit ]
New Year Festival
Losar A week-long drama and
carnivals, horse races and archery
Monlam Prayer Festival The Great Prayer Festival, a tradition begun by
Tsong Khapa. Many pilgrims gather at Jokhang in Lhasa
Buddha's miracle at Sravasti. Fires are lit on roofs, and lamps in windows
Festival to drive out
evil spirits and expel the scapegoat. Lamas encircle Lhasa with trumpets
Important month for pilgrims. -the birth of Buddha
Celebrates the birth and Enlightenment of Sakyamuni and his entry to
Nirvana. An outdoor opera is held and captured animals released. Worshippers flock to the Jokhang in Lhasa to pray.
Hanging of the Thangka
thangka is hung at Tashilhunpo in Shigatse
On this day ghosts are said to prowl. Tibetans dress up and party to drive away the spirits.
Sho Dun Festival Literally, the "Yoghurt Festival." Worship of the Buddha. Picnics and operas are held in parks particularly under the trees at
Norbulingka. There are often bonfires at night.
A feast is held to commemorate Buddha's first sermon. Pilgrims climb holy mountains such as
Cham-ngyon-wa, or "Old Dance" Celebrated at the
Cho-ne Monastery, representing the souls of the departed.
Lasts about a week. People go to the river to wash themselves and their clothes. Said to cure any sickness.
Literally 'Looking around the fields'. Ensures a good harvest. Horse-racing, archery contests and opera
Golden Star Festival The Golden Star festival is held to wash away
passion, greed and jealousy and to abandon ego. Ritual bathing in rivers takes place and picnics are held
Dajyur Festival The Dayjur is held in
Gyantse and Damxung -horse racing and light hearted sports competitions and games takes places
Harvest Festival The festival is held with
prayers, dancing, singing and drinking
Buddha painting unfolding festival Lamas unfold large thangkas on walls and moutains.
Buddha's descent from heaven after preaching to his mother is commemorated. All
monasteries are opened and pilgrims gather
Tsong Khapa memorial Memorial festival of
Tsong Khapa's death - fires are lit on the roofs of the monasteries and lamps are lit
New Year Festival
New Year Festival in
Meeting of the Eight Guardians
The Meeting of the Eight Guardians and demons where Tibetans stay indoors to avoid
Banishing Evil Spirits
A "Devil Dance" is held to drive out all evil from the Old Year to prepare for New Year.
Tibetan calendar is a lunisolar calendar. Losar is celebrated on the first three days of the first lunar month.
Tibetan year Losar*
element and animal
February 5 - February 7
male iron dragon
January 24 - January 26
female iron snake (or metal serpent)
February 12 - February 14
male water horse
February 1 - February 3
female water sheep (or goat)
January 22 - January 24
male wood monkey
February 9 - February 11*
female wood bird (or rooster)
January 30 - February 1
male fire dog
February 18 - February 20
female fire pig
February 7 - February 9
male earth rat (some Gelukpa cite Tibetan Year 2135 [five], starting 2008-02-07 at 03:44 GMT, also an annular solar eclipse)
January 25 - January 27
female earth ox
Gallery [ edit ]
, Lhasa during Monlam
See also [ edit ]