Activities in Tibetan Lingka Festival
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Activities in Tibetan Lingka Festival

Update: Feb. 26th, 2013

Lingka Festival

Earliest Activities in Tibetan Lingka Festival

According to legends, the Lingka Festival in Shigatse originated from Padmasambhava. He ever practiced in a cave in Shigatse for one year when he came to Tibet to preach religion from Indian. Later, in order to commemorate Padmasambhava, in a sunny day, men in Shigatse will ride a donkey to worship the cave where Padmasambhava ever practiced in at outer suburbs of Shigatse in the morning. Women and children in Shigatse will take foods to welcome men when they went back. Later, they will go to Jicai Lingka to celebrate and have fun. That's the earliest activities in Lingka Festival. Later, the activities in Lingka Festival increased donkey race, horse race, shooting and other competitions.

Present Activities in Tibetan Lingka Festival

Now, Tibetans will take foods and tent to the Lingka in suburb to sing songs, dance, play Tibetan cards, tell stories, play games, perform Tibetan Opera and hold the competition of shooting and horse racing. In some districts of Tibet, there are religious activities at the climax of Lingka Festival.

In Tibet, winter is long and summer is short. Hence, the time with bright sun and mild wind is very precious. In this period, Tibetans will dress festival clothes and take butter tea, barley wine and other delicious foods to picnic in Lingka. Tibetans will entertain each other in Lingka and call folk artists to perform songs and dances.

In the period of Lingka Festival, in Lhasa, the wind is mild and sun is bright, air is fresh, trees are prosperous and flowers are showing their beauty. Under tall white poplar, on green grassland and on bank of beautiful river, there are many Tibetans in beautiful festival clothes in groups of three or four are drinking barley wine, playing Tibetan cards, singing songs and dancing in their tent. These scenes of having fun can be seen everywhere during Lingka Festival. In the evening, Tibetans will happily go back.

In Shigatse, the Lingka Festival in each year is on June 1st. At that time, city residences, farmers and herdsmen will hold grand traveling activities in Gongjue Lingka, on bank of Nianchu River. In Lingka, there are various tents and huge crowds of people. They sing songs and dance. The whole Lingka is very lively.

Tibetans who are fond of outdoor activities will go to have fun and spend summer on banks of Lhasa River in summer. That's named "Lingka Festival". Although the content of Lingka Festival is very rich, it mainly focuses on worshipping and entertainment. Tibetans will put up tents, set up pot and stove, place desk and chairs, pave carpet and place various desserts, foods, drink in the tent. They will sing songs, dance, play Tibetan cards, tell stories, play games, drink wine, watch film, enjoy Tibetan Opera, and have traditional sports, such as shooting, etc. In recent years, the activities in Lingka Festival became richer. Tibetans also move television, Kara OK and electronic game machines into tents. Traditional culture and modern entertainment naturally blend into each other there.

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