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|Name||Calendar of Major Tibetan
Festivals and Holidays
|The largest Tibetan festival, celebrated by all. Losar starts on the 1st day of the 1st month of the Tibetan Calendar, and lasts 3 to 15 days. On the eve of New Year’s Eve, the 29th (Nyi shu gu) day of the 12th month, Tibetans eat guthuk with their families. Learn how Tibetans celebrate Losar >>||February 9||February 27|
|Saka Dawa||A full month — the 4th month of the Tibetan calendar — honoring Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. One’s deeds are considered multiplied during this time, so Tibetans often give alms to beggars and refrain from eating meat. Learn more about Saka Dawa >>||
May 7 – June 5
|May 26 – June 24|
|Zamling Chisang||Universal Prayer Day. In central Tibet, on the 15th day of the fifth month in the Tibetan calendar, Tibetans go to the tops of local mountains to burn incense and hang prayer flags.||July 19||July 9|
|Birthday of the 14th Dalai Lama||Tibetans everywhere celebrate His Holiness’ birth date with long life prayers, picnics and cultural performances, always on July 6th of the Western calendar.||July 6||July 6|
|Choekhor Duechen||Honoring the day that the Buddha Shakyamuni first taught the four noble truths in Sarnath, India, and first turned the wheel of the dharma. Also called drukpa tse shi, which means the 4th day of the 6th month of the Tibetan calendar.||August 6||July 27|
|Shoton (Yogurt) Festival||Especially famous at Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, where a huge thangkha (guku) is displayed on the hill next to the monastery and thousands gather to see it and pray before going on to picnic and hear Tibetan opera at the Norbulingka Palace grounds. The celebration starts on the 30th day of the 6th month of the Tibetan calendar and it goes for 7 days. (On the 29th day, there is a ritual dance at Drepung.)||September 01-15||August 21 September 8|
|Lha-Bab Duchen||A day of prayer honoring the Buddha Shakyamuni’s descent from the heavenly realms to the earth. It is the 22nd day of the 9th month on the Tibetan calendar.||November 20||November 10|
|Ganden Ngachu||Anniversary of the death of the great Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetans make butter lamp offerings at home and in monasteries on the 25th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan calendar.||December 23||December 10|
If you ‘d like to follow the Tibetan calendar on your iPhone or iPad, check out this great little free iPhone/iPad Tibetan Calendar app >>
If you are planning a trip to Tibet, we can put you in touch with a reliable Tibetan-owned agent who will plan a non-touristy trip that gives you a real feel for Tibet. Contact us here for Tibet travel help.