Saga Dawa Festival

The Yogurt Festival / Sho Dun Festival

The Sho Dun Festival is commonly known as the and is an annual festival that is celebrated at  or “Jewel Park” palace in . It is named yoghurt festival because yoghurt is offered to the  who happen to finish their retreats.

It is a week-long gala celebrated in the summer, from the 15th to the 24th of the 5th . It usually falls on the mid of August. This year it is from August 11th to August 16th. It is especially dedicated to the

The festival is celebrated in the summer, from the 15th to the 24th of the 5th lunar month – usually about the middle of August, after a month’s retreat by the monks who stay within their to avoid walking on the emerging summer insects and killing them.

This tradition is believed to have been started from the 16th century with a banquet given by the lay people for the monks featuring yoghurt.  Slowly and gradually, summer operas, or Lhamo, and theatricals were included in the festival. Dancers from all over the Tibet come to the festival and perform in the melodious chorus.

The , stones and walls around  Norbulingka are filled up with a colourful of . There is much dining and visiting between family groups and nights are filled with bonfires.

A big is showcased every year.

What to See in Sho Dun Festival?

  • Gathering of Thousands of at  and with well ethnic dress up.
  • One can see with giant Jampa Thangka and be hanging on the foothill of Gebeiwotse mountain in the early dawn
  • The melodious sound of bugle rebounding through the valley.
  • Drepung and Sera presenting Giant hanged Jampa thangka.
  • Classic at the Norbulingka Palace.
  • Racing of yaks and horsemanship display.
  • Sangsol (burning of Tuja leaves along with Tsampa and butter) at the whole cities.
  • The crowd of visitors throwing White Khada on the giant Thangka.

Last year the giant of was exhibited at Drepung and Sera Monastery on an early of August 21st.


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