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Tibetans celebrate Shoton Festival in Lhasa

08-11-2010 08:30 BJT

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This year's Shoton Festival opened in Lhasa. As is tradition, the annual Buddha thankha display unveils the curtain of Shoton. A series of colorful activities and ceremonies will follow until Monday.

In the early morning on Tuesday, lines of pilgrims wind their way up to the Drepung Monastery, to celebrate Shoton, the Tibetan Yogurt Festival. On the mountain top, the cliff is center stage, where a giant thankha which is 37 meters by 40 meters, is unfurled to display the Buddha.

Monks also add to the ambience by blowing on horns. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, also attend to pray and worship. The festival also includes an opening ceremony at the Potala Palace Square, with all sorts of performances and the Tibetan musical dance dramas and operas in the Norbulingka Park.

The Shoton Festival begins on the new moon marking the end of the 6th Tibetan month, and the event is given a further 5 days of celebration to increase its popularity.

Buddha Thangka painting unfolding ceremony is held in Zhaibung Monastery on the outskirts of Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, on Aug. 10, 2010. The annual traditional Shoton (Yogurt) Festival, inscribed on the list of China Intangible Cultural Heritage in May 2006, was opened here on Tuesday. Buddha Thangka painting unfolding ceremonies in Zhaibung Monastery and Sera Monastery, Tibetan operas, and horse racing are to be presented during the Shoton Festival. Shoton, or Xodoin, means yogurt banquet in the Tibetan language, and the Shoton Festival, believed to originate in the 11th century and been originally a religious activity for pilgrims to serve yogurt to monks and nuns who finished their summer retreat, had gradually become a theatrical event by mid-17th century. (Xinhua photo)
Buddha Thangka painting unfolding ceremony is held in Zhaibung Monastery on
the outskirts of Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region,
on Aug. 10, 2010. The annual traditional Shoton (Yogurt) Festival, inscribed
on the list of China Intangible Cultural Heritage in May 2006, was opened here
on Tuesday. Buddha Thangka painting unfolding ceremonies in Zhaibung Monastery
and Sera Monastery, Tibetan operas, and horse racing are to be presented during
the Shoton Festival. Shoton, or Xodoin, means yogurt banquet in the Tibetan 
language, and the Shoton Festival, believed to originate in the 11th century 
and been originally a religious activity for pilgrims to serve yogurt to monks
and nuns who finished their summer retreat, had gradually become a theatrical
event by mid-17th century. (Xinhua photo)

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