Tibet Culture Information

Culture of Tibet - Natural Hues of Colorful Lives !

Tibet has the richness and the depth of its traditions that is deep rooted in its cultural heritage. The wisdom, the knowledge about life, compassion, tolerance and peace of mind, all contribute in making the culture of Tibet. The simplicity of life, the spirituality of minds and rich customs and traditions give a strong hold to this alpine region which is entirely bedecked with its holy charisma. Comes and experience this magical world of culture.

Festivals

If possible, try to time your visit to Lhasa with one of the citys festivals. Pilgrims often flock to Lhasa at these times and the city takes on a colorful party atmosphere. The following Tibetan festivals are calculated according to the lunar calendar. Check before for the precise dates.

Tibetan New Year (March 3)

This is the greatest festival in Tibet. In ancient times, when the peach trees were in blossom, it was considered the start of a new year. Since the systematization of the Tibetan calendar in 1027 AD, the first day of the first month was fixed as the New Year. On the New Years Day, families unite, an auspicious dipper is offered, and the auspicious words tashi delek are greeted.

Butter Oil Lantern Festival (March 18)

The last day of the Great Prayer Festival is celebrated as Butter oil lantern festival. In order to commemorate Sakyamunis victory over non-Buddhist opponents, the Lord of Neu Dzong, a noted patron of Tsongkapa, illuminated numerous butter-lamps in 1409.

Saga Dawa Festival (June 14)

Gods in heaven are believed to descend to the mortal world on this day. Incense sticks are lit in large numbers, and families go out in public parks for picnicking. The day is also known as the Worlds Incense Day.

Horse Racing Festival, Gyantse (20 to 27 July)

Horse race and archery are extremely popular in Tibet. And Gyantse enjoys the prestige of being the earliest in history by starting in 1408. Contests in early times included horse races, archery, and shooting on galloping horseback followed by a few days of entertainment and picnicking. Ball games, track and field events, folk songs and dances, and barter trade are additional attractions to the above.

Yalong Cultural Festival (July 25)

Yarlong culture is an important part not only of Tibetan culture but also of the worlds. The festival is a combination of both art and economy, which displays the old brilliance and the new expectations at the same time. There are colorful activities like national sports contests, singing, dancing, Tibetan opera, ethnic costume shows and trade fairs.

Shoton Festival (August 27, September 3)

The Opera Festival is one of the greatest festivals in Tibet. In ancient times, pious folks went into mountain hermitages to do penance. On the last day of the festival, yogurt is served as meal followed by folk song and dance entertainment.

Ganden Festival

On the 15th day of the 6th Tibetan month, 25 precious articles belonging to ganden monastery, which are normally locked in their treasure house, are displayed in the main shrine hall. A grand offering ceremony accompanies the display. These articles consist of the images of the sixteen arhats, akshobhya, the secret assembly, the four great kings, the upasaka and hashang image.

Harvest Festival (September)

The farmers in Lhasa, gyantse and shangnan to celebrating their bumeer harvest in this time. During that time, people enjoy with horse racing games, costume fashion show, songs and dance archery and picnic etc.

Tibetans are the main inhabitants on the plateau. Tibetans are happy people, they know how to enjoy their life in any circumstance. At present there are Tibetan, Menpa, Luopa, Han Chinese, hui, sherpa and a few Deng people living in Tibet while Tibetans are the main inhabitants on the plateau. Most Tibetans in cities fell to craftsmen. However, more and more people step into business nowadays. Traditionally farmers settled in small villages, mainly growing barley while the roaming nomads earned their living by herding yaks and sheep. Most Tibetans in cities fell to craftsmen. However, more and more people step into business nowadays. Tibetan language belongs to Sino-Tibetan phylum. People in U and Tsang, Kham and Chamdo speak different dialects. Most Tibetans are devout Buddhists while a few believe in the old Bon. Islam and Catholicism also have a few followers in Lhasa and Yanjing respectively. Since Chinas Family Planning program is not carried out among Tibetan people, Tibetan population keeps growing. According to the census conducted in 2000, there are 2,616,300 people in Tibet, with Tibetans totaling 2,411,100 and 92.2% of the current Tibet population. The statistic also shows that Tibetans average life reaches 68 due to the improving standard of living and medical service. The illiterate people are reduced to 850,700.

Languages

Tibetans have their own language, which is known as bod-yig in the Tibetan-inhabited areas with the meaning of Tibetan language. Tibetan language belongs to the Tibetan-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. According to geographical divisions, it has three major local dialects: Weizang, Kang and Amdo. The first two dialects have their own tones in pronunciation while the latter dont. Created in the early 7th century, the Tibetan language, a phonetic system of writing, was based on the writing system of the ancient Sanskrit language of India. Tibetan language consists of thirty consonant, four vowels, five inverted letters (for the renting of foreign words) and the punctuations. Sentences are written from right to the left. With two major written scripts namely the regular script and the cursive hand, Tibetan language is widely used in all areas inhabited by Tibetans. In 641 AD, Songtsen Gampo, a king in southern Tibet, married Wen chen Konjo of the Tang dynasty, which gave a boost to the development of the Tibetan culture. From the 10th century to the 16th century, the Tibetan culture developed dramatically. Throughout the centuries, the Tibetans bring to us not only the two well-known Buddhist master pieces, the Bka-gyur, and the Bstan-gyur, but also other great works on cadences, literature, philosophy, history, geography, arithmetic, calendar, medicine and so on.

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