Tibetan Festivals Calendar in 2018

Tibet is a wonderland that attracts foreigners very much. It has advantaged natural sources, such as blue sky, snow-capped mountains, amazing lakes, and so on. It also has a rich culture, which was passed by as stories no matter written in the history books or spread in the folk generation by generation. Due to the mystery of Tibetan Buddhism, Tibet reeks of inside-out unique charm.

Usually, foreigners travel to Tibet for a certain purpose, like Everest Base Camp, Mt. Kailash, etc. But it couldn’t be better if it happens to meet some Tibetan festivals when having a Tibet tour. Because nearly all Tibetan festivals are involved with Tibetan Buddhism. Thus, you can learn Tibetan culture more deeply by attending the festival personally.

Tibetan New Year
Tibetan Women in the traditional dress for celebrating Losar Festival

Here we list the Tibetan festivals in 2018, based on the new Tibetan calendar. You may check which feast you will meet when you are having tours in Tibet.

Losar Festival 2018 (Tibetan New Year) --- February 16th.
As the most important feast for Tibetan people, Losar Festival 2018 will start from February 16th. to 18th. After a year of hard working, it’s time to relax and have some happy time with family members. Joy and happiness cover all the street. You will be easily infected by the festive atmosphere. But, foreigners are not allowed to travel to Tibet from mid-February to March due to the sensitively political situation. So, almost no aliens could see the Losar festival in person.

Saga Dawa Festival 2018 --- May 29th.
It’s one of the significant Tibetan festivals. Started on April 15th. according to the Tibetan calendar, Saga Dawa Festival is celebrated for the birth, enlightenment, and nirvana of Buddha Sakyamuni. Lhasa and Kailash are the main venues. On this day, Tibetan people stop eating meat or killing animals, and give an offering to the monasteries. Besides, they will do a kora tour around Linkhor circuit in Lhasa or around holy Mt. Kailash.

Tibetan people for Saga Dawa Festival

Thangka Unveiling Festival 2018 at Tashilhunpo Monastery --- June 28th.
It has three names for this festival, Tashilhunpo Buddha Exhibition Festival, Tashilhunpo Monastery, and Tashilhunpo Thangka Festival. With a history of five hundred years, it starts from May 14th. in the Tibetan calendar and lasts for three days. You can see three different Thangkas unveiled during this time, which you can not see in other time. Because those Buddha Thangkas imply strong religious overtones, which teach Tibetan people to cherish the time.

Shoton Festival 2018 --- August 11th.
Monks and Lamas are required to stay in the monasteries in summer for a month to avoid killing small creatures according to the scripture of Tibetan Buddhism. After this month, they can go out. And the lay people will offer them yogurt for their hard practice. So, Shoton Festival is called as Yogurt Festival as well. If you are having Tibet tours during this time, you can see a huge Thangka unveiling ceremony at Drepung Monastery, which is kind of an opening show of Shoton Festival. Then, the Tibetan people may invite you to enjoy a happy time in Norbulingka Park, where you can eat the tasty Tibetan yogurt while watching the traditional Tibetan opera.

Shoton Festival - Thangka Display at the back hill of Drepung Monastery