Shodun ( Shoton ) means Yogurt festival is the most popular festival in Tibet. It is celebrated every year during the Tibetan Lunar calendar month of July, which happens around mid-August.
Shodun festival is only celebrated in Lhasa. Shodun festival can be traced back to the 16th century and now it is the largest festival in Lhasa.
The festival is fully focused on the spiritual blessings of the huge size of Thangka at Drepung monastery and Sera monastery, later the Tibetan Opera dance at Norbulingka Palace, which remains for around a week.
In the year 2018, the Shodun festival is on August 11th, many local Tibetan people will wake up early morning around 4 am and walk to Drepung monastery to get the blessings of one of the biggest Thangka of Buddha Shakyamuni and later walk towards Sera monastery to get the blessings of another huge Thangka of Buddha Shakyamuni.
Photo: Local Tibetans waiting in the line for blessings of huge Thangka of Buddha at Drepung monastery lingkor route.
I have gone to the festival around 2 times at the Drepung monastery and the lingkor route is crowded with people. Even if we arrive at Drepung monastery around 6-7 am, we still have to wait until around 8: 30 am to go on the line to get the blessings. Shodun is the largest celebrated festival in Tibet.
Shodun festival is also a picnic week for local Tibetans. They are many Tibetans from Lhasa and nearby celebrating Shodun in Norbulingka summer palace via enjoying the Tibetan Opera dance.
August is the busiest and most expensive season in Tibet. Travelers planning to visit Shodun ( Shoton ) festival during August, we highly recommend taking good care of the passport, purse, bags via carrying at the front since the route to Drepung is crowded during the Shodun festival.
Shodun festival is an important festival since the Thangka which was displayed at Drepung a few years ago was around 600 years old. It is full of blessings.
The Tibetan opera dance in the Norbulingka Palace is a must-watch for all the Travelers. Shodun is celebrating even bigger than Tibetan new year so highly recommend Travelers to travel to Tibet during Shodun festival.
It is crowded and expensive to travel to Tibet in August but it is a great once in a lifetime adventure.
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