Tibet enters month of festivities

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-02 22:12:28|Editor: An
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LHASA, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- August will be a month of celebration for southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, with a series of traditional festivals.

On Aug. 8, a horse-racing festival will be held in Damxung county in Lhasa, the regional capital, featuring competitions such as horse racing and picking hada, a traditional Tibetan scarf, on horseback.

During the horse racing, local residents wearing colorful long-sleeved clothes and hats race against each other on horses decorated with colorful ornaments.

Picking hada is another challenging task. Competitors on horseback are required to pick up white scarves lying on the ground.

In Xigaze city, a tourism festival centering on Mount Qomolangma will start on Aug. 26. During the festival, there will be 20 events, including a hiking competition and performances of Tibetan Opera.

In Tibetan Opera, performers usually wear colorful masks to play characters from history or mythology.

The traditional Shoton Festival, one of the most important festivals in Tibet, will begin on Aug. 21. This year's event will feature Tibetan opera performances, buddha exhibitions and a food exhibition.

A huge Thangka, a Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton or silk, will be demonstrated in front of crowds.

The Shoton Festival, also known as the Yogurt Banquet Festival, is a week-long extravaganza that has been held since the 11th century. It was originally a religious occasion when locals would offer yogurt to monks who had finished meditation retreats.

Local authorities expect many tourists during the festivals.

In the first half of 2017, Lhasa received about 3.86 million domestic and foreign tourists, a year-on-year increase of 18.21 percent, generating tourism revenue of about 5.1 billion yuan (759 million U.S. dollars).