Eastern Tibet Culture
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Eastern Tibet Culture

Update: May 15th, 2013

festival in eastern Tibet

Eastern Tibet Culture – Religion

The Tibetan Buddhism was spread to eastern Tibet after the 11th century due to the limited transportation. Local Tibetans in eastern Tibet believed in the manito till the 11th century. Tourists planning to pay a visit to eastern Tibet would find that the local Tibetans have strong admiration in the mountains and rocks. Some ceremonies and taboos are well preserved to worship the mountains and rocks even today. The local Tibetans' admiration for the rocks is one of the most ancient beliefs in eastern Tibet. The Mani rocks are respected as the landmarks of the Mountain Lord while the mani piles are regarded as Mars. Besides, even the rocks at the road junction are respected as the guardian angle of the passerbys.

The customs and taboos of Tibetan Buddhism came into the daily life of local Tibetans in eastern Tibet after it was spread to here after the 11th century. Except for worship their manito, local Tibetans also start to free the captive animals, make kora around the mountains and hang on the Tibetan prayer flags. Some of the devout followers of Tibetan Buddhism show their respect to the Buddhas by carving the Buddhism sutras on the giant mani rocks.

Eastern Tibet Culture – Taboos

Be separated with the western Tibet by the high mountains, eastern Tibet has its own traditions and taboos. Tibetans living in eastern Tibet never eat meat of animals with paws on the feet. They hold that the dog, monkey, brown bear and the marmot are the friends of human beings. Besides, Tibetans in Qamdo Prefecture never eat the meat of the white eared pheasant for they think that the white eared pheasant is the pet of the Mountain Lord. It is a taboo to touch the snake and frogs for Tibetans in eastern Tibet for they believe that these animals are the pets of the Dragon Lord.

Tourists making a Tibet tour to eastern Tibet should respect the local customs and never violet their taboos, especially in the monasteries. Tourists should never eat garlic before visiting the monasteries. Local Tibetans would never use the wood of the cypress trees as the construction materials of their house for the cypress trees are regarded as Sakyamuni's holy tree. Tourists visited in the monasteries in Tibet would always find that local Tibetans would burn the cypress branches to worship the Buddhas. In addition, Tibetans living in eastern Tibet don't like unlucky numbers, especially 6 and 81. People here would never want to take a journey with another 5 persons or construct a temporary hearth with 6 stones.

Eastern Tibet Culture – Festivals

Some of the traditional festivals in eastern Tibet are the same with those in the other parts of Tibet, but there are also some quite different festivals. Some of the solemn festivals in Lhasa would not be celebrated in eastern Tibet, such as the Shoton Festival and Wangkor Festival. Tibetan New Year is the most important festival in eastern Tibet. Besides, there is a series of folk festivals mainly involve some trading activities in eastern Tibet.

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