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The Chamdo Region is one of the cradles of the Epic of King Gesar, the world's longest epic poem and the only one that is still performed live. There are still hundreds of performers of King Gesar in Tibet, Qinghai, and Inner Mongolia. If you come across one of them, don't miss it! Folk dancing and singing are also wonderful cultural activities to experience. People dance and sing in the fields and drink chang to celebrate a good harvest. There are many festivals in the Chamdo Region. In the Rioche area, people worship the Buddha on June 15. Living Buddhas and Lamas hold ceremonies to pray for the Buddha's blessings. Many traditional games, such as horse racing and wrestling, are also held to make things more exciting. Also, people hold Horse Racing Festival every year from May to June. People believe that this great festival commemorates the brave King Gesar, who won first prize at the Horse Racing Festival and then became king. The winner of the matches at the Horse Racing Festival receives great honors. People in the Chamdo Region believe the cuckoo is the symbol of spring. During March and April, people take food and find a beautiful place outdoors. They will eat outside and try their best to listen to the sound of the cuckoo. People say that if you can hear the cuckoo's singing after you finish eating, you'll have good luck and will not be hungry in the coming year. If you hear it when you are hungry, you'll have bad luck and will always be hungry next year. If you can't hear the bird's singing at all, you will have an earache! Khampa cultures are unique, so even the customs during public holidays are different from other regions. During the Tibetan New Year , farmers will plant highland barley and wheat in a basin full of loam. Cattlemen will prepare a sheep head and decorate it with yak butter. Two days before the New Year's Eve, Dec. 28, people will clean the rooms and kitchen of their house. All the dust and dirt must be separated into nine parts and put in the middle of the road the next morning. Then, all the disasters and infelicities will be taken away by people passing by. Youngsters strive to collect the first barrel of water, which is considered to be holy, in the morning of the first day of New Year. The third day of New Year is the day to worship Buddha. People wear their most luxurious and formal clothes as well as precious decorations and jewelry. After donating Khatag , yak butter and foods to Buddha and monasteries, people will assemble on the streets and roads. All the people dance and sing and drink chang to celebrate until the end of the day. During the Tsong Khapa Butter Lamp Festival, October 25th, the Tibetan Calendar, Chamdo people will donate yak butter lamps to the great Tsong Khapa. What's more, kids will go out to beg starting on the 22th. It is said that what they can get during these days are the blessing of Tsong khapa. Kids will assemble in the home of one of the local families and enjoy what they get during the festival. Traditional games are another entertainment in Chamdo Region. Horse racing, rope skipping, wrestling, push-and-pull, kites, etc. are enjoyed by both kids and adults. When you are traveling around Chamdo Region, join with the locals to get a feel for their way of life.
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