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Shoton Festival 2013. Thangka art and Tibetan Masks exhibition in Lhasa

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The Shoton Festival is held each summer in Lhasa and it is considered to be the largest Tibetan festival.  Also known as the Yogurt Banquet festival it dates back to the 11th century and was originally a religious occasion, when local people would offer yogurt to monks who had finished their meditation retreats.
It is a very appealing event not only for Tibetans and Buddhists coming from different countries, but also for many travelers willing to discover this striking event on the roof of the world.

Shoton Festival Lhasa 2013

People attending the Shoton Festival 2013. Lhasa.

The festival mainly consists in exhibitions showing the art, tradition and the appealing culture of the Tibetan people. Very famous events are the Tibetan Opera Show and the Horsemanship and Yak Race Show. However the main event that open the festival is the display of the giant thangka showing the Great Buddha.
During the ritual more than 100 monks unveil an old 1,480 square-meter portrait of Sakyamuni knitted with colorful silk.

Great Buddha thangka Shoton Festival 2013

Great Buddha thangka at Shoton Festival 2013

During the festival (this year from the 6th to the 12th of August) there are celebrations in the streets, squares and monasteries of Lhasa.
As part of this year’s festival, a grand exhibition of traditional Thangkas and  Tibetan masks is staged at Norbu Lingka, the former summer palace of the Dalai Lamas.

 

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