2014-01-02
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Local Tibetans celebrate the Butter Lantern Festival in the monasteries

Time:2014-01-02By: LeoSource: Chinanews.com

Butter Lantern Festival

Butter Lantern Festival Celebration in Lhasa

Local Tibetans celebrate the Butter Lantern Festival in the monasteries on December 27th (it is Oct.25th according to the Tibetan Calendar). The Butter Lantern Festival is a solemn traditional festival for the followers of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is said that Oct. 25th is the Parinirvana Day of the respectful Master Tsongkhapa.

On December 27th, pilgrims from different corners in Tibet collect at Jokhang Temple Square. Pilgrims circumambulating around Barkhor Street while rotating their prayer wheel and murmuring the Buddhism scriptures. The highlight of the Butter Lantern Festival is the successive lighting up of numerous butter lanterns at Jokhang Temple Square when the night screen hang down in this city.

About 19:30 p.m., Jokhang Temple Square has been crowded with numerous pilgrims and visitors. The opening ceremony of the Butter Lantern Festival is the lighting up of the butter lanterns on the Golden Roof of Jokhang Temple. Numerous butter lanterns were lighted up successively by the lamas with the company of the forceful chanting of the Tibetan Buddhism scriptures. The devout pilgrims keeps circumambulating around Barkhor Street till the next morning. It is said that the number of pilgrims on Barkhor Street ranks first at 24:00 that night.

Except for Jokhang Temple, the other monasteries of Gelug Sect would also celebrate the annual Butter Lantern Festival so as to in memory of Master Tsongkhapa. Before the celebration of the Butter Lantern Festival, the pilgrims and lamas would spend a lot of time making the butter lanterns. It is reported that the each lama in the monasteries would make more than 30 butter lanterns for the celebration of the Butter Lantern Festival every year. On the night of the Butter Lantern Festival, the local Tibetans would put their lanterns on their windowsills and light them up so as to pray for peace and happiness.

Tips for Travel to Tibet during the Butter Lantern Festival

Actually, Lhasa looks much peace and quite with the coming of November every year. Tourists who've been to Lhasa in winter might have fond that the oxygen content in the air on Tibet Plateau is much lower than the plain area and it is even drier compared to the summer season. It is also a good choice to travel to Tibet in the winter season though the weather condition is not so pleasant in this season. Some traditional Tibetan festivals would be celebrated in the winter season, including the Butter Lantern Festival and the Tibetan New Year. Visitors who've visited Jokhang Temple on the Butter Lantern Festival were always impressed by the numerous shinning butter lanterns.

Tourists willing to witness the celebration of the Butter Lantern Festival have many choices in the transportation to Tibet. It is easy to book a Tibet train ticket in winter for mot tourists are not willing to visit Tibet in winter. In addition, there are preferable discount in the air tickets to Tibet. The price of the hotels in Lhasa would also be relatively lower compared to that in the summer season. It is necessary to make a good preparation for the strong sunshine radiation and possible high altitude sickness for tourists planning to make a Tibet tour in winter.

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