Lhasa Shoton Festival Celebration 2013
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Lhasa Shoton Festival Celebration 2013

Update: Aug. 16th, 2013

Shoton Festival 2013

Lhasa Shoton Festival was celebrated between August 6th and 12th in 2013. Noted as one of the most solemn traditional festivals in Tibet, Shoton Festival is also known as Yoghurt Festival. During the celebration of this annual festival, local Tibetans would share the traditional food and enjoy a series of traditional recreational activities together. In Drepung Monastery, a magnificent Buddha exhibition ceremony would be carried out. This ceremony not only attracts a large number of local Tibetans but also attracts a large quantity of visitors both at home and abroad.

August 6th is the first day of Shoton Festival 2013. The Buddha exhibition ceremony always acts as the opening of the annual festival. Numerous devout pilgrims gather together to take part in the grand ceremony from different corners of Tibet early in the morning. An endless long queue has been formed in front of Drepung Monastery. The come here for worshipping the Buddha and pray for happy life.

About 07:00 in the morning, the lamas in the monastery set fire to the cypress twigs and blow the religious horns. At the same time, the rolled giant Thangka of Sakyamuni would be carried out from the Buddha hall by dozens of lamas. About 08:00 in the morning, the giant Thangka of Sakyamuni would be unfolded on the exhibition stage. It is reported that this giant Thangka covers an area of more than 1000 square meters.

To witness the magnificent Thangka exhibition view, a certain number of tourists both at home and abroad would come to Lhasa during the Shoton Festival every year. According to an Italian tourist who has came to Lhasa for Shoton Festival for several times, the Buddha exhibition view and the devout pilgrims always make them impressed. According to statistics, the number of visitors came to Drepung Monastery this year is much larger than last year.

According to the municipal deputy party secretary, Tibet has invested more than 14 million CNY into the road construction of the road to the exhibition state to Drepung Monastery. The road is about 1.5 meter wider than the past and the road exactly in front of Drepung Monastery is extended to 10 meters. The upgraded road allows more pilgrims and visitors get closer to the giant Thangka and better enjoy the religious atmosphere. It is reported that over 0.42 million visitors and local Tibetans have witnessed the Buddha exhibition during Shoton Festival 2013.

After the Buddha exhibition ceremony in Drepung Monastery, local Tibetans would be soaking in the hilarious festival atmosphere. Among all the recreational activities, the Tibetan opera is the most noted one. Visitors interested in the Tibet opera could pay a visit to Norbu Lingka. Several Tibetan opera team would gather in Norbu Lingka during the important festivals to present a wonderful performance for the local citizens and visitors. Generally, the folk stories, historical legends and Buddhism classics are the main contents of the Tibetan opera. According to the historical record, Tibetan opera has a history of more than 600 years.

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