Tibet Shambhala Adventure is a local Tibetan owned Tibet travel agency who organizes the best Tibet festival tours including Shoton festival tour. Shoton Festival is one of the grandest traditional festivals in Tibet. In local language, Sho refers to yogurt and Don means banquet and eating. Therefore, Shoton Festival is namely a feast day to have yogurt.
In truth, this Shoton festival 'yogurt festival' was originally an utterly religious event, starting in mid-11th century. At that time, people sacrifice yogurt to monasteries. Since late 17th century, it had become an important festival with Tibetan opera and Thangka unfolding ceremony, backed up by entertainment and religion activities. Since it was hosted by Lhasa government, it has changed into a famous celebration combining tradition and modernization. Having a Shoton festival tour around Lhasa during this period of time is the best.
Although Shoton Festival is held in every late sixth month or early 7th month of Tibetan calendar, appointed Tibetan opera parties from different parts has get ready for the big day in a month advance. The opening ceremony will begin on 30th of 6th month of Tibetan calcendar which usually is held in August or Beginning of September according to western calendar. Norbulingka in west outskirt of Lhasa is the central venue for the celebration, which used to be the summer palace of Dalai Lama. In these most energetic days, Lhasa's hustle and bustle are wholly moved the green forest around Norbulingka.
On the first day of Shoton festival, a giant silk appliqué Thangka is displayed on the hill side of Drepung monastery in the early morning and another huge silk applique Thangka is also displayed on the back hill side of Sera monastery. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists gather in both monasteries in order to get blessing from the sacred Thangka images.During your Shoton festival tour, you will extremely beautiful Tibetan traditional activities including Tibetan opera, monks ceremony inside the monasteries, picnic party in Norbu Lingka, the summer Palace of the Dalai Lama and different costumes from different regions of Tibet.
During your Shoton festival tour, you will see a lot of different Tibetan opera performances. Tibetan Opera is another big draw which is to be carried on since the second day of the festival from eleven o'clock in the morning until dark. Shows can be admired in Norbulingka and LuKang (Dragon King Pond), Park behind the Potala Palace. The local Tibetans sit on mat with families and friends, drink butter tea and Barley beer (Chang in Tibetan ) , taste dessert and watch the opera while waving the prayer wheel or finger the rosary in hand. During the period, different schools of Tibetan opera will compete with each other, and teams from Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan will come to the holy Lhasa to improve their skills by exchanges. During 7 days Shoton fesetival, those opera parties will perform in every corner of Lhasa city area which makes the Shoton festival in Lhasa more authentic and meaningful in a Tibetan traditional way.
|Days||Trip Outline||Daily Activity||Accommodation||Guide & Driver||Meal|
|01||Arrival in Lhasa by train or air and transfer to downtown Lhasa (3650m/45km)||Barhmaputra, Kyichu valley, Lhasa city||Hotel in Lhasa||Local Tibetan||BB|
|02||Sightseeing tour around Lhasa||Visit Potala Palace, Jokang temple and Bharkor Bazzar||Hotel in Lhasa||Local Tibetan||BB|
|03||Sightseeing tour around Lhasa and Shoton Festival||Walking to Drepung monastery-Visit Thangka display in Drepung and Sera monasteries||Hotel in Lhasa||Local Tibetan||BB|
|04||Sightseeing tour around Lhasa and Shoton Festival||Visit Norbu Lingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama-visit local Tibetan's picnic party-Tibetan opera in Norbu Lingka and Lukang temple||Hotel in Lhasa||Local Tibetan||BB|
|05||Lhasa to Tsetang (3600m/180km)||Barhmaputra-Visit Samye monastery-Yumbu Lhakang-Traduk temple||Hotel in Tsetang||Local Tibetan||BB|
|06||Tsetang to Gyantse (3950m/340km)||Visit Yamdrok lake-Nojing Kangsang snow mountain-karola glacier-Gyantse||Hotel in Gyantse||Local Tibetan||BB|
|07||Gyantse to Shigatse (3900m/90km)||Visit Palchoe monastery-Kubum Pagoda stupa-Tashi Lhunpo monastery||Hotel in Shigatse||Local Tibetan||BB|
|08||Shigatse to Lhasa (3650m/280km)||Barhmaputra-Nyemo county-Kyichu valley-Lhasa||Hotel in Lhasa||Local Tibetan||BB|
|09||Drive to Lhasa airport (3600m/45km)||Holy Lhasa city-Kyichu valley-Lhasa airport|
- Accommodation as mentioned in the Tibet trek program on twin sharing basis
- All necessary Tibet entry and road permits
- Transportation by good conditioned mini van
- All entry fees to the sites and monasteries
- Yamdrok lake conservation fee
- Karola glacier conservation fee
- Breakfast for entire Tibet tour
- Oxygen in the vehicle incase needed.
- Both international and domestic flight/train tickets. (Note: We can help you to book your flight or train tickets, especially domestic ones)
- Lunch and Dinner in the hotels
- China Tibet visa fee
- Service of Nepal and mainland China side
- Tips for the staff
- Travel insurance inclduing trip cancellation, medical and emergency evacuation
- Expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone call, etc.)
- Any extra cost in the event of landslides or any other personal nature expenses that are not mentione above