Best time to go to Tibet

Butter Lamp Festival 2021

The last day of the New Year's celebrations features one of the most colourful festivals


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Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates.

The 15th day of the Tibetan New Year is marked by the celebration of the Butter Lantern Festival. This is one of the happiest and most popular events. The festival is celebrated in every monastery of Tibet, making it a huge temple fair. The greatest celebrations are held at Barkhor Street in Lhasa.

During the day people usually make pilgrimages to the local temples and monasteries, while at night streets are filled with amazing yak butter sculptures and the light of lanterns.

Traditional dancing, chanting, and puppet shows are also part of this event. Local people prepare for this festival for several months making unique lanterns with their own hands. These are usually in the form of birds, flowers, various figures, and even gods. They vary in size and colour creating a spectacular view making the streets as bright as day.

Monks prepare amazing yak butter sculptures. Creating these art works takes tons of butter and almost two months of hard work. Some of them are as high as three-storey buildings. They are placed on a gorgeous flower stand as gifts and devotions to Buddha. Some of the best yak butter sculptures can be seen at the Ta’er Monastery of Qinghai province.

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