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When you are in Shigatse, don't forget to watch the traditional Tibetan Opera. As the cradle of Tibetan Opera, there are professional Tibetan Opera teams as well as amateur ones. Traditional folk dancing and singing are also popular in this area. Warm and bright folk dancing and singing are available in almost every corner of Shigatse. Beautiful songs and dances will form part of most ceremonies. The busiest and most commercial area of Shigatse City is around Shanghai Plaza. Bars, cafes, net cafes, cinemas, sweet teahouses are booming in this ancient city. Karaoke rooms and Langma Halls also can be found in the city.

There are also many festivals in Shigatse Region which can make your trip great fun. People in Shigatse Region will celebrate Tsang New Year on the first day of October, Tibetan Calendar. Housewives can have a rest during that day and all the housework will be done by husbands. In the early morning, men will climb to the roof and fire charcoal or yak dung. Meanwhile, they will immolate various oblations such as foods, fruits, sugar, etc. to pray for a harvest in the coming year. In the second day, men will cut branches of willow tree and sew colorful prayer flags on them. The blue flag will be sewed on the top to indicate the sky. The white flag beneath represents the cloud. The third one is the red flag symbolizing the fire and the fourth is the green one emblematizing the water. Then the last one is yellow standing for the earth. The branches will be hung on the hill and the river nearby the village and the four corners on one's own roof. In that case, people believe the gods of hill, river and family will protect and bless them.

Traditional Tibetan New Year is also celebrated by Tsang people. From December 29, Tibetan Calendar, people begin to clean houses and yards, paste new pictures and put new carpets. Wash and clean all the vessels in the kitchen and prepare abundant foods for celebration. At midnight, families will get together and eat dumplings. The dumplings are made with different stuffing and shapes, each of which represents or has a different meaning. The first day of the New Year holiday will be the day for family reunion. People will neither go out nor work. They will visit friends and relatives from the second day. Entertainments like dancing, singing, Tibetan Opera and racing will be held from the third day.

Gyangtse Racing Day is another famous and popular celebration in Shigatse Region. In order to commemorate the local king Rapten Kunsang, these celebrations have been held since 1408. In the past, the celebration were held around April 19, Tibetan calendar, and were focused on religious ceremonies. Now, people hold the celebrations in June and add many entertainments such as football and basketball match, yak racing, tug-of-war, dancing and singing, and so on. Also, merchants, farmers and herdsmen also have sales and exchange goods during the celebrations.

Religious Ceremonies are another highlight of Shigatse Region. Every year, the Tashilhunpo Monastery unfolds and displays the giant Thangka of Buddha on the 14 th , 15 th and 16 th of May, Tibetan calendar. Also, the Holy Dancing Festival held by the Tashilhunpo Monastery during every August, Tibetan calendar, is another local favor.

In order to attract more visitors, Shigatse Region had held the Mt. Qomolangma Cultural Festival. The first Qomolangma Mountain Cultural Festival was successfully held in August, 2001. Since then, the festival has been held every year. During the festival, folk dancing and singing, Tibetan Opera, needfire parties and religious ceremonies are shown to visitors from all over the world. Business conferences and trading meets also made the Shigatse Region more attractive.

Come to Shigatse and enjoy the local life! You will surely be delighted by the amazing entertainments.

Comments and Questions

Are there any celebrations on December 31st?


4/10/2010 7:46:00 AM


Asked by Lisa marie (Argentina)

if you mean the tibetan calendar, it should be the Tibetan New Year.

4/12/2010 8:18:00 PM



I agreee with you, but every tribe has their own customs which should be respected by others, I think.

4/12/2010 8:23:00 PM