Rutog County Festivals and Activities
Except for Tibetan traditional festival, such as Tibetan New Year Festival, Tibetan Bathing Festival, Tibetan Shoton Festival, Tibetan Horse Racing Festival and Buddha Exhibition Festival, there are three special festivals in Ngari Prefecture.
Ngari Festivals – Tarchen Buddhist Activity
The Tarchen Buddhist Activity is held in the Darchen Village, at the mountain foot of Mt. Kailash. On April 15th in Tibetan Calendar in every year, the Tarchen Buddhist Activity starts. At the same time, the activities of worshipping holy mountain and lake in the coming year is also start. The place of holding Tarchen Buddhist Activity is in Sexiongtan Valley behind of Tarchen Village. In the noon of April 15th, a 24.5 meters long flagpole that is swathed by colorful prayer flags on the ground will gradually stepping up in the sound of chanting scripture with the command of principal. The prayer flags slightly sway in wind to call gods on plateau to gather there and take part in the worshipping activity. The process of stepping up the flagpole is divided into two days. In the first day, the pole will be totally stepped up in the second day.
Ngari Festivals – Kegya Monastery Buddhist Activity
On June 4th in Tibetan Calendar, the Kegya Monastery which is located on the southern side of Pulan County will hold the religious activity of the master in the monastery. The Kegya Monastery and Tuolin Monastery are famous ancient monasteries with over thousand years' history. Due to the great influence of Kegya Monastery on Ngari and Nepal Buddhist Circles, in the period of Buddhist activity, there are over thousand monks and believers taking part in the Buddhist activity. In the Buddhist Activity, Kegya Monastery will hang Thangkas in history in the monastery to make this Buddhist activity more valuable.
Ngari Festivals – Kegya Men's Festival
In Kegya Village in Pulan County, there is a distinctive and funny festival – Men's Festival. This festival is from February 11th to February 15th. Before the festival, prestigious elderly in the village will make arrangement and raise funds for the festival. They will decide how much rice, flour, ghee, meat and firewood each family will provide. On the day of festival, men who are older than 18 years old in the village will be attended on as emperor. They have absolute power during the festival. During the Men's Festival, all men will gather at the square in front of Kegya Monastery to drink win and enjoy opera while women and children are standing to have a look. Each family will appoint woman to pour wine and serve dishes for men in turn until the end of festival. After the festival, women are on equality with men.
All of these three festivals are full with distinctive local characteristics. If you are lucky enough, you may come across these festivals in your Tibet tour. If so, you not only can enjoy the beautiful and charming scenery of Tibet, but also can experience authentic Tibetan daily life and appreciate distinctive festival atmosphere. It will make your tour more worthwhile.