Festivals are lively events that bring together Tibetans from all over the plateau. The more than 100 major and minor festivals that take place throughout the year include horse racing, dancing, singing, praying, and displays of religious artwork.

Below is the schedule for Tibetan Festivals in 2017. If your travel schedule allows, it is worth arranging a trip to Tibet when festivals are taking place.

Festivals Region Dates (2017) Notes
Tibetan New Year (Losar) Lhasa/Kham/Amdo Feb 27th Lively one to two week festival celebrating the new year. Most important festival of the year.More info…
Monlam Prayer Festival Lhasa/Kham/Amdo Jan 31th-Feb 11th The Great Prayer Festival. Many pilgrims gather at the Jokhang and other monasteries. More info…
Butter Lamp Festival Lhasa/Amdo Feb 11th Monks compete in building tall butter sculpture offerings. Commemorates Buddha’s miracle at Sravasti. Fires and lamps are lit.
Saga Dawa

(The holiest religious festival )

Lhasa/Kham/Amdo June 9th Important month for pilgrims. Birth, enlightenment and parinirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni.  More info…

Recommended trip:Saga Dawa Kailash Kora

Kalachakra day and Thangka Unveiling Lhasa/Shigatse July 9th A giant thangka painting is hung at Tashilunpo and famous monasteries, this is the Amitabha Buddha meditation,recitationof sutras and taking eight Mahayana precepts.
Zamling Chisang/Samye Dolde Lhasa / Samye July 9th Universal Incense Offering Day. Picnic, sing, and dance in the park and Tibetans go to the tops of local mountains to burn incense and hang prayer flags.
Choekor Duchen Lhasa July 27th Commemorates and honoring the day that the Buddha Shakyamuni first taught the four noble truths in Sarnath, India, and first turned the wheel of the dharma.
Gyantse Horse Race Gyantse County July 20th Horse & yak racing, dancing, singing, and games. This is the biggest festival in Gyantse
Shoton Yogurt Festival Lhasa Aug 21st- 27th Thangka unveiling at Drepung Monastery. Picnics and operas are held in parks, particularly under the trees at Norbulingka park. Bonfires at night.
Nagchu Horse Race Lhasa Aug 1-5th Horse & yak racing, dancing, singing, and games.
Lhabab Dechen Lhasa Nov 10th Festival observing the descent of Buddha from heaven.
Palden Lhamo Festival Lhasa Dec 3rd A float of Tibet’s protector deity Palden Lhamo is paraded through the city.
Ganden Ngachoe all Tibet regions Dec 12th Memorial for Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa school. Buddhists light lamps, make offerings, and pray.
Ganden Thangka Unveiling  Lhasa Ganden Aug 1st A giant thangka painting is hung at Ganden Monastery.
Jyekundo Horse Festival Kham July 25-30 The biggest horse racing and yak racing festival in Tibet, Tibetan people all over the Kham region come for camp at Batang horse racing grassland, singing, dancing, enjoy the unique cultural festival.
Litang Horse Festival Kham August 1-5 Horse racing, circle dance, fashion shows.
Kumbum Monastery Festival Amdo April 9th Prayers, thangka unveiling, monks’ mask dance. This is also Amitabha Bdudha,meditation, recitation of sutras and taking Eight Mahayana Precepts, Kalachakra day
Ngawa Losar / Monlam Amdo Feb 9-11th Horseback fashion show, strength contest, giant thangka unveiling.
Labrang Losar/Monlam Amdo Feb 9-11th Commemorates Buddha’s miracle at Sravasti, thangka unveiling.
Repkong Losar / Monlam Prayer Festival Amdo Feb 2- 12th Commemorates Buddha’s miracle at Sravasti, village tea party, monks Cham mask dance,  Thangka unveiling and many other activities in Rebkong, Amdo Tibet.More info…
Repkong Shaman Festival Amdo Rebkong July 9 – 18th Ritual demon exorcism, village Shamen dancing performance and Tibetan traditional dress showMore info…
Butter Sculpture Arts Exhibition Amdo Kumbum Feb 11th (evening) Monks compete in building tall butter sculpture offerings. Commemorates Buddha’s miracle at Sravasti. Fires and lamps are lit. This festival is held in Kumbum, Rebkong, Labrang and Ngawa in Amdo Tibet