Tibet tourists milk yoghurt and racing festivals

25th Jul 2013

Two of Tibet's best-loved festivals and events look set to swell increasing tourist numbers still further next month.

The Shoton Festival - also known as the Yoghurt Festival or Banquet - is an annual event staged at Norbulingka or Jewel Park palace grounds of the Dalai Lama.

Lhasa, a favourite of holidaymakers on spiritual specialist tours on city breaks, hosts this celebration.

This is a unique opportunity for tourists to experience an event that brings together yoghurt eating, yak racing, Buddhism and dramatic operas.

This year's August 6-12 festivities, also known as the Tibetan Opera Festival or Buddha Exhibition Festival, marks the end of Tibetan monks' season of meditation.

Shoton in Tibetan means "sour milk banquet".

The Nachu Horse Racing Festival is a prestigious equine contest in northern Tibet where tens of thousands of herdsmen congregate on grassland outside the city on a vast grassland dotted with tents.

The amount of tourists travelling to south-west China's Tibet autonomous region jumped steeply in the first six months of 2013, according to the local tourism bureau.

A total of 3.43 million tourists went to this plateau region in the first half of this year, a rise of 21.8% compared to the same six months last year.


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