Sho Dun Festival

Nature At Its Best

The Sho Dun festival or the yoghurt festival is the largest festival celebrated in the Tibet with most activities celebrated at Norbulingka around Lhasa or Tibet. This festival is celebrated mainly in summer time, during the mid of August, when the festival is the yoghurt banquet. The Sho Dun festival originally began back in the 16th century when the people offered yoghurt banquet to the pious Buddhists and monks after their one to two months of summer retreat. In the early summer time, monks usually stayed in their monasteries and the Buddhists went to their mountain hermitages to do penance and avoid walking over the newly hatched insects and killing them. So when the penance was finally over the people came over to serve them with yoghurt and Tibetan operas were also operated to amuse the monks.

So these days Shon Du festival is also celebrated to focus on Tibetan operas and dramas. The festival traditionally is started by unveiling some Thanka art of the Buddha in Deprung Monastery which is the grandest ceremony of the festival. From the second day, the Tibetan opera troupes perform at Norbulingka, dawn till dusk. There are also other partying groups that gather on grass and treat each other will barley wine, buttered tea and some Tibetan homemade desserts. There is also Yak racing and the Tibetans also make some bonfires. Sho Dun turns out as a wonderful opportunity to explore some mysterious Tibetan culture and learn about the people and the locals; it is different and often unexplored.

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