Gyaca County Festivals and Activities
In addition to the traditional festivals as well as a large number of religious festivals, such as "the Ongkor Festival", "Lotus Buddha’s Birthday", "Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp Festival" and "Saga Dawa Festival". During the festival, the villagers sing and dance all night.
Lotus Buddha’s Birthday: the tenth of the fifth month in Tibetan lunar calendar is the birthday of Lotus Buddha. Many places such as Gyaca of Shannan and Khaqu of Luozha will celebrate the day. Every year there will be a petty celebration and every twelve years there will be a big celebration.
The Onkor Festival (Harvest Festival): it is an occasion that Tibetans celebrate their harvest. “On” indicates “field” in Tibetan, “Kor” with the meaning of “twining round”, and “Onkor” means “twining round the highland barley”. The festival is popular in the rural areas of Shannan、Lhasa、Shigatse. With the evolution of the time, the contents and forms of the Onkor changed continuously, including horse riding, arrow shooting, Zang opera etc. Now to celebrate the festival, people, old and young, will dress up, lifting “harvest tower” made of highland barley and beating drums and gongs, singing in their odes and walk around the fields in prayers for a bumper harvest, and then followed by a horse race, arrow shooting, Zang opera and dances, together with an outdoor banquet.
Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp Festival: it is held on the 25th day of the 12th month, which is in November or December in Gregorian calendar. It is the day on which Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelug Sect met his demise. Every house and every monastery hold light lamps on the roofs of their houses and windowsills chanting prayers in memory of Tsongkapa in the night.
Ghost-Exorcising Festival falls on the 29th of the 12th Tibetan month. During this festival, to drive away evil spirits and to welcome the New Year, large -scale sorcerers’ dances take place at monasteries and in every household, people do cleaning, and decorate their houses.
Saga Dawa Festival--the Birth of the Buddha: held by the Dragon King Pond, it was celebrated on the 15th of the fourth month for the Lord Buddha Sakyamuni’s birth, enlightenment, death and Songtsan Gambo’s wedding with Princess Wencheng sent by Tang Dynasty (618-907). The people including monks and laymen, men and women in Lhapulun don’t eat or drink or speak for a day and two nights, it is called "Niannai" festival.