Gyirong County Ethnic Culture

Gyirong County which means “comfortable village” and “Happy Village” is located in the southwest of Tibet autonomous, southwest of Shigatse. It is famous because of its mild climatically conditions and its abundant vegetation which is unusual for Tibetan plateau. The legendary ancient temples and unique Tibetan customs attract countless visitors came here to open her mysterious veil. It also known as the backyard garden of Mount Everest.

Ethnic Groups

There are 11,707 Tibetans, accounting for more than 99.23% of the total population; Han, Hui and other ethnic groups account for more than 0.77%, and a small number of Sherpas and Daman people are distributed in Gyirong Town and other places. The Daman people have joined Chinese nationality.

Ethnic Festivals

1. Tibetan New Year

Tibetan New Year is the Tibetan people’s traditional festival, and the most solemn festival. Tibetan New Year Festival is around February in the solar calendar. On the first day of the New Year Festival, the locals will celebrate the coming year in elaborate dresses.

2.  Dharma Festival

 Dharma Festival, a very well-known festival in Tibet began popular in Gyangtse, Shigatse, at the beginning. Dharma means horse race and archery in Tibetan. The Dharma Festival is still current in many places, the center of Gyangtse in particular. This festival used to be held in April with many activities, such as horse race, horsemanship, wrestle, Buddha exhibition, performance of shaman’s trance dance and sacrificing and so on. Nowadays, the Dharma Festival is celebrated in June when Tibetan people can get a spare set of hands from farm work.

Religious Belief

There are 4 temples and 4  lakang(拉康, means a kind of temple) in Gyirong County, that is, Qude Monastery, Chagadasuo Monastery, Dunzhulin Monastery, Paba Monastery, Mani Lakang, Jiamu Lakang, Qiangba Lakang, and Menkang Lakang. There are 37 Buddhist monks and nuns. Qude Monastery belongs to Yellow Sect; Chagadasuo Monastery belongs to the Gagyu Sect; Dunzhulin Temple belongs to the Nyingma Sect; Paba Monastery belongs to the Yellow Sect. 4 Lakang belong to Nyingma Sect.

Ethnic Custom

Tibetan Opera

With the continuous advancement of the times, the improvement of the people’s living standards and the demand for cultural life, the traditional “Zhuo Sam”, “Langsha Ohbu”, “Soginima”, “Bimaweiba”(《卓桑姆》、《朗沙哦布》、《索吉尼玛》、《白玛伟巴》), ect. the eight major Tibetan operas, lagged behind the times in many respects. The people have made the Tibetan opera more close to life.

Music and Dance

  • Music: From 1985 to 1999, under the organization of county cultural staff, the staff amateur performance team created some musical works during the performance, such as “Good Family Planning,” “Hometown Changed”, “Happy Life” and other songs. It inspires the people of Gyirong to build a happy home with diligence and wisdom.
  • Dance: Since 1989, Gyirong County has organized the masses to use folk dance as the theme. After a rough refinement, it has been compiled and exported to “Gyirong Pots Chuang”, “Ya La Beijing”, “Building New a House”, “Building Walls” and “Hada for the Communist Party”, ect. and have greatly enriched the cultural life of the people.

Folk Arts

The discovery of a large number of ancient ruins shows that in the Tang and Song Dynasties in Gyirong County, folk songs and dances have taken shape, and there is a unique “Tong Jia Dance” (also called bracelet dance) and a sacrifice dance “Hama”. After the Ming and Qing Dynasties, as the exchanges between various ethnic groups continued to strengthen, “Madeng Dance” was introduced to Gyirong County. Since 1989, regional professional and amateur literary and art workers have continued to penetrate the county, collecting and sorting out some folk dance materials.

Folk Song

Due to the geographical difference in Gyirong County, the genre, phonology, tone, etc. are obviously different. Love songs, carols, and sad songs that have been circulated so far have fixed vocals and sentence patterns, and a tune can sing a few words.