CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Tibetans drawn to Lhasa monastery for festival ritual

08-20-2012 11:40 BJT Special Report:This is Tibet |

Hundreds of thousands of Tibetans traveled to a 15th-century monastery on the outskirts of Tibet's capital of Lhasa on Friday to participate in a Buddhist ritual that marks the start of the annual Shoton festival.

Devout Tibetan Buddhists and curious tourists walked up a mountain near the Drepung Monastery at daybreak for the sacred "sunning of the Buddha" ceremony.

As it began, a 500-square-meter painting depicting Buddha was unveiled on the mountain slope. The Tibetans walked around the giant painting, throwing ceremonial white scarves on it and chanting. Some prayed with hands clasped at chest height, others prostrated.

The "sunning of the Buddha" is the most significant part of the week-long Shoton festival. Organizers estimated that more than 200,000 people turned out at Drepung for this year's ceremony.

Worshipers came in endless streams to see the event, with some traveling hundreds of kilometers to attend.

"I saw the big Thangka (painting) today! I saw it! And my whole family is gathering here together. I'm so happy and we've come a long way," said Tsewang, a Tibetan from neighboring Qinghai province.

The Shoton festival 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.

Since the 17th century, the festival has become a celebration featuring both religious rituals and civil entertainment. It is now considered one of the most important festivals on the Tibetan calendar. More than 900,000 people visited Lhasa for last year's festival.

 

 

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program