Shannan Ethnic Culture
According to the long record of Shannan(Lhoka) history, it has many “firsts” honor and that’s the reason why Lhoka was recognized as “the cradle of Tibetan culture”. They are: the first king of Tibet – Nie Chi Zanpu; the first palace – Yungbulakang; the first temple – Tradruk Monastery; the first piece of farmland-Sedom(索当); the first sutra classics; the first Tibetan Opera, etc., were all born in Shannan. Many festivals are held in Shannan region in its counties, district, monasteries and villages to celebrate the harvest season, the New Year or Losar and natural elements such as birds. Thus it’s an exciting thing to enjoy Shannan’s festivals and events.
Shannan is also named Lhoka in Tibet which is a long-standing prefecture-city located in southeast Tibet. It literally means the south of mountain. Shannan gets its name from its location, which is in the south side of Gangdise Mountains and Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains. It is bounded by Lhasa to North, Nyingchi to east, Shigatse on west and border with India and Bhutan on the south internationally, covering a long boundary line of 600 km. With a total area of 79,700 square kilometers, it has jurisdiction over 12 counties. It is home to 14 ethnic groups with Tibetans as its main body and a population of about 370,000.
Temples are the main manifestation of Tibetan Buddhist culture, there are many monasteries in Shannan, here below are parts of them.
- Mindroling Monastery, Shannan
- Sanan Qulin Monastery in Lhunze County, Shannan
- Zhare Monastery in Nagarze County, Shannan
- Chokorgyel Monastery in Lhunze County, Shannan
- Sanggha Fangtuo Temple, Shannan
- Xiezhulin Monastery, Shannan
- Saikagutuo Monastery, Shannan
- Sangha Guduo Monastery, Shannan
Various Tibetan festivals are celebrated in different ways in Shannan. It is suggested to visit Shannan during the festivals and enjoy the lively scenes with the local Tibetan people if time is free. Except for popular Festival of birds and Tibetan New Year Festival, other festivals like Praying for Fruit Festival are fun and attractive as well.
The recommended festivals tours including