What can you do in Tibet during Spring?

Just after the break from Winter howls, people may tend to treat themselves with a spiritual practice, adventurous trips and connecting with just nature. Spring is the absolute season for doing many wonderful outdoor activities all over the world. Tibet is no exception and let me brief you what you can do in Tibet during this favorable season.

i. Spiritual Re-connection

You can experience the chanting and temple bells from dusk to dawn in any Tibetan community as the Saga Dawa (4th Lunar Month) falls in Spring. The Barkhor street of Lhasa will be busier than usual with different pilgrims from every corner of Tibet. Specially, 15th Day of 4th Lunar Month according to Tibetan Calendar, believers performs special and grand ritual activities at most of the Tibetan Buddhists community. Individual prostrations, group prayers, circumambulation of monasteries and the cities plus lots of charity activities. On the same day, one of the most special ritual activities would organize at Mt. Kailash by the locals, Tibetans, Chinese and Indians.

ii. Adventures and Fun

Since the Spring in Tibet is having a favorable climate condition, it is definitely good for outdoor activities. Many visitors like to opt for hiking, trekking, camping, biking and riding all over the Tibet.

iii. Enjoy Nature and Organic Foods

Tibet itself looks like a giant natural reservation center. You can enjoy and explore the beauty of nature and it’s mysteries. This season, the nomads transfers their spot to their nomadic area and the farmers start their field works. You will enjoy both wildlife florals and fauna from East to West of Tibet. This makes your trekking more enjoyable and riding more fun. You are just breathing nature all over the Tibet. Specially, do not miss the Spring Peach Blossom Festival in Kongpo/ Nyinchi. This is also the season of plucking Yar-Tsa-Gun-Bu (a medicinal plant species which is like grass in summer but worm like in Winter) by the Tibetans to make their annual income. Many Tibetan women also go to harvest Spring Tuber and mushrooms for their home as well as to earn a little. There are many other wild fruits would start growing in the forest which locals used to enjoy. You can join in one of these activities ūüôā

iv: Homestay 

This would be fun to do. You can choose a peasant host or a nomad host. Either of this would be fun! You can also choose to experience both and urban Tibetan family style. From this, you would learn the Tibetans living style, habit, occupation and some regional languages during your stay with them. You could also learn some conventional styles of stitching clothes, milking, butter or cheese making, and the like. You will certainly enjoy this trip.

Consequently, during Spring, you can enjoy many activities in Tibet which are pure and authentic.

Potala Trip supports such trip to promote tourism in the world by holistically. Please do visit our website http://www.potalatrip.com to explore our services and let your journey begin!

Labrang Monlam Festival

“Amdo” is Tibetan name for the Eastern part of Tibet and “Monlam” means Prayer. Amdo Monlam Festival is not a newly organized activity, it is started by the great Scholar Je Tsong Khapa Chenpo of Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism in year 1409. Which has become the greatest religious festival in Tibet with chanting and performing various ritual activities by the thousands of monks and lamas at Jokhang, Lhasa.

This great prayer festival was revived by Gedun Gyatso in the year 1517 by gathering all the monks and lamas of Sera, Drepung and Gaden, the three great monastic universities of Gelugpa sect at Jokhang, Lhasa. The main purposes of this great prayer festival is to pray for long life of all the holy lamas of all traditions, to promote Dharama traditions and to prevail world peace.labrangwinter

Anyhow, the great prayer festival was abandoned at Lhasa after the cultural revolution yet the Amdo Monlam Festival is still exist in the eastern part of Tibet with the same purposes. From Amdo region, Labrang Monlam Festival is the most visible and well known to many. Generally, this prayer festival falls after the 7th Day of Tibetan New Year which is from end of the January to early March of the year. The festival lasts for four days with different ritual activities. To elaborate the sacred activities of the festival as follows:

Day 1: Unveiling of Giant Thangka Appliqué 

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Giant Buddha Thangka Display
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Lay Escort to the Giant Thangka

This morning the crowd will be busy to get blessings from the giant magnificent Thangka display  at the opposite of the Labrang monastery. Unveiling of this enormous Buddha Thangka (painting or embroidery) believes that recieving direct blessings from the Buddha himself to the believers which would accompany with chanting, playing ritual instruments, and carrying forth and to by hundreds of monks with the escort by the local lay people.

Day 2: Cham Dance (Sacred Ritual Performance by the monks)

wechatlabrang14This sacred performance is practiced months ago and to perform a highly standard performance to the crowd. The performers would be wearing a very grandiose costumes and ornaments. Every steps and acts of Cham has it’s own meaning and they perform it elegantly. The Tibetans believe that this performances transmit healing powers from the deities through the dancers symbolic hand gestures.

Day 3: Metok Choepa (Butter Sculptures)

wechatlabrang13The monks and lamas of the monastery has sculptured several astonishing butter sculptures of the great scholars of Tibetan Buddhist Scholars and lamas since from it’s inception. The butter sculptures would be displaying in front the main hall of the monastery gracefully from the evening. Though, there are audio visual facilities to have glance of this beautiful work and to get blessings from the entrance of the monastery. People tend to stand in the long lines for hours to pay visit the statues to get blessings.

Day 4: Jampa Lingkor (Taking Jetsun Jampa circumambulation of the monastery)

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Jetsun Jampa Gonpo
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In the progress of circumambulation

Today is the end of the day of Labrang Monalam Festival. This morning, the monks of the monastery would take the graceful statue of Jetsun Jampa circumambulation of the Labrang Monastery. This way the the visitors would get a glimpse of Jestun Jampa in the means of blessings.  The thousands of crowd from far and nearby would start dispersing from Today to their next destinations.

This is how the Labrang Monlam Festival ends. Have a look for this unique itinerary just for you! https://www.potalatrip.com/tour/11-days-amdo-monlam-festival/

Let your journey begin!

Tibetan Festival Calendar, 2019

If you are passionate of traveling with breathing culture and tradition. Please have a glance of this year’s Tibetan Festival Calendar in Tibet to schedule your trip ahead.

Almost all the festivals of Tibet are directly and indirectly touch with Tibetan Buddhism traditions. Some festivals are celebrated in the nationwide and some are at specific places. Actually, there are numerous regional festivals in Tibet in touch with their tradition and aged long histories. Here, in this table we have just highlighted some of the famous festivals in Tibet. Please feel free to inquire (info@potalatrip.com) about any festivals at specific regions which are not included in the table.

Let your journey begin!

Name of the Festival Active Place 2019
Tibetan New Year (Losar) Almost all over Tibet  February 5
Labrang Monlam Festival Labrang Town, Amdo February 17
Saga Dawa Almost all over Tibet  June
Gyantse Horse Racing Festival (Gyantse Damag) Gyantse Town July 20
Tashi Lhunpo Thangka Display Shigatse City July 15
Zamling Chisang / Samye Dolde Samye Monastery, Lhoka City  July 16
 Yushu Horse Racing Festival (Jye Kundo) Yushu , Qinghai Province July 25th
Lithang Horse Racing Festival Lithang August 1
Chokor Duchen Festival Almost all over Tibet  August 4
Gaden Thangka Display Ganden Monastery, Lhasa August 15
Shoton Festival Lhasa  Aug 30 -Sept 5
Nachu Horse Racing Nachu, TAR August 10 – 16
Lhabab Duchen Festival Almost all over Tibet  November 19
Pal Lhamo Festival Lhasa City  December 12
Gaden Ngacho (Butter Lamp Festival) Almost all over Tibet  December 21

Is Autumn Favorable for Travelers in Tibet?

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Beauty of Nyinchi at the moment

September is the start of the Autumn in Tibet, the plateau of the world. The farmers already or on the process of harvesting their crops. The nomads are eyeing for their winter base. The villagers are going in the forest to collect as many of woods as possiblefor their winter warmth. All are just busy with interesting transition of the year in Tibet ūüôā

For the Travelers of the world, this could be an adventurous season to visit Tibet land. It is yet to be freezing cold, though it is cold weather. The plants are just starting to turn into yellowish color and leaves of the trees are yet to fall. You must really experience this golden season to make a memorable trip.

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Have a Glance of Lhasa Barkhor Street in this season:)

Yes, Autumn is a favorable climate to the travelers to the world in Tibet. You may find dry and cozy weather. This season is also good for trekking and camping. ūüôā As well, you will get every services with little more discount. Only thing is to bring your warm clothes and just get to chill out ūüôā The Autumn season in Tibet exist from the late September to the early December.

 

Qinghai Lake (Tsongonpo)

Qinghai Lake in Tibetan language is known as Tso Ngonpo (Green or Blue Lake) and it is also called as Kokonor Lake in Mongalian. This famous lake is beautifully lied in Qinghai Province, China and it is the largest lake in China.

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The Western Side of the lake is ‘Birds’ Island’ where most of the migrant birds stop there as an intermediate stop. There are other migrant species which also do the same. The lake remains frozen for few months continuously in winter.361532578058_.pic_hd

In between the Western part of the lake, there is an island and where there is a temple and few hermitages which is called as Mahadeva. Which is the almost the heart of the lake. The island was historically home for a Buddhist monastery. Uniquely, no boats were used during other seasons, therefore monks & nuns and pilgrims travel only in the Winter over the frozen sea.  371532578058_.pic_hd

Tibetans consider this lake as sacred and precious by Buddhist philosophy. There are many pilgrims circumambulate the lake in throughout the year. It is said that, to make a complete circuit of the lake, it takes 8 days by horse and 15 Р23 days by walk. These days, people make circuits by car. 381532578059_.pic_hd

Qinghai lake is not really far from Xining, the capital city of Qinghai Province. The lake is elevated from the surface by 3260 meters.

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Visit http://www.potalatrip.com to explore suitable itineraries to visit this amazing lake.