Saga is a Tibetan name of a star. On every 15th of 4th lunar month, this star known as Saga appears and shine. Therefore 4th lunar month is called as Saga Dawa ( Dawa means month ), the month of Saga Dawa is observed as a trisects of three important moments of Buddha’s life. On this same day Buddha was born, attained enlightenment and death of his mortal body.

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A statue inside Dzochen Monastery in Kham during Saga Dawa Festival

So throughout the month of Saga Dawa, almost all devoted Tibetans will usually take special oaths like Nyanney ( abstain from food, Taking one meal per day ) and Nyungney ( abstain from food and speaking, ). And unlike normal days, everyone will try to earn as merits as they can, fish and other animal releasing (free from killing them),  creating happiness, peace and harmony among all. The festive mode activities are differ from place to place and monastery to monastery but overall Saga Dawa is observed as a month dedicated and honored to the achievements of Buddha’s life.

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Mt. Kailash during Saga Dawa Festival


Although, Saga Dawa is a religious festival which carry out across Tibet Plateau, the highlight of Saga Dawa is at the Mount Kailash to renew the Darboche/Prayerflag pole and other performances. From Darchen, walk about 40-50 minutes, the darboche and festival ground will come into view.

Tibet festival

Dirapuk Monastery during Mt. Kailash. After Saga Dawa Festival.

As the biggest festival in Ngari area, Tibetan people in Ngari won’t miss such a big event. People from all over the Ngari region come to join this festival along with Chinese, Indians, Nepalis to celebrate this festival by proforming many rituals. This is the only time you can experience different religions like Buddhism, Bon and Hinduism rituals taking place around Tarboche. The Saga Dawa Festival honors the life of Buddha Shakyamuni, and the main point of the festival is to pray for the long life of all the gurus, for the spreading of teachings of Buddha, and for the happiness of all the sentient beings. This festival also offers a great opportunity for photo shootings.

Sichuan Tibet tour

offering for lord Buddha during Saga Dawa Festival

Tours including Saga Dawa Festival:

17 Days Saga Dawa Mt. Kailash Yatra

14 Days Mount Kailash and Guge Tour

16 Days Mt. Everest and Mt. Kailash Tour