Pilgrimage to Lhasa during the Tibetan New Year
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Pilgrimage to Lhasa during the Tibetan New Year

Update: Dec. 6th, 2013

Pilgrimage to Lhasa

Tibetan New Year is the most solemn traditional festival in a year for local Tibetans. Generally, the celebration of the Tibetan New Year would be celebrated from January 1st to January 15th according to the Tibetan Calendar. During the 15 days, local Tibetans would hold a series of folk activities to celebrate the Tibetan New Year Festival. Tourists who've pay a visit to Tibet during the celebration of Tibetan New Year might have found that the celebration is rich in religious atmosphere for most local Tibetans are devout followers of Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore, Tibetan New Year is not only a festival for relaxation and entertainment, but also a festival for showing the respect to the Buddha.

Pilgrimage to Lhasa during the Tibetan New Year – Go to Lhasa for Pilgrimage

Winter is a slack season for local Tibetans. The herdsmen in different corners of Tibet complete their nomadic life and start to prepare for the annual pilgrimage to Lhasa in winter. Be frankly, the pilgrimage to Lhasa is a matter of primary importance for most local Tibetans. Except for the herdsmen in Tibet, numerous herdsmen from Qinghai Province, Gansu Province, Yunnan Province, Sichuan Province and Yunnan Province would also go to Lhasa for pilgrimage in the slack winter season. Therefore, visitors travel to Tibet during the celebration of Tibetan New Year would find that Lhasa is almost a folk & cultural customs exhibition hall composed of moving Tibetan pilgrims wearing different clothes and speaking different dialects.

Pilgrimage to Lhasa during the Tibetan New Year – Different Pilgrimage Ways

Lhasa is always under lovely sunshine even in the winter season and the temperature in the daytime is always pleasant. The lovely sunshine not only bring warm to the pilgrims, but also provides great convenience for them. The transportation condition in Tibet is greatly improved recent years and there are more pilgrimage ways compared to the earlier years. Most pilgrims from Qinghai would choose the Qinghai-Tibet train while pilgrims with better economic condition would choose the flights. The pilgrims in Sichuan Province would like to make their pilgrimage to Lhasa through the Sichuan-Tibet Highway. Some Tibetans would pilgrimage to Tibet with their family members while the others would head to Tibet as a member of the collective organization in their village.

Pilgrimage to Lhasa during the Tibetan New Year – Lamas in Lhasa

The Tibetan New Year celebration period is a busy season for the lamas for they have to receive the pilgrims and prepare for a series of religious celebration. Potala Palace and some other ancient monasteries in Lhasa are always crowded by tourists and pilgrims from different corners of the world in the winter season. It is reported that there are about 20 thousands pilgrims in Jokhang Temple in the peak pilgrimage days, among which 80 percent of them are from regions faraway from Lhasa. To provide convenience for pilgrims, the monasteries in Lhasa would put off their lockup time to 8:00 p.m. Visitors travel to Lhasa during the celebration of the Tibetan New Year are always impressed by the touching picture in Jokhang Temple – continuous devout pilgrims show their respect to the Buddha by performing the body-length kowtow repeatedly.

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