This blog post was updated on November 8, 2018.
It’s been said that the people of Tibet have more holidays and take advantage of more opportunities to celebrate than any other nationality in the world. According to some tallies, the traditional Tibetan calendar features somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 different festivities and holidays with religious or cultural roots.
But if there’s one tibetan festival that’s worth traveling all the way to the so-called “roof of the world,” it’s the Yalong Cultural Festival. And it’s going down this month!
Here’s everything you need to know about the Yalong Cultural Festival:
What is it?
The Yalong Cultural Festival is a celebration of all things Tibetan. It’s an annual gathering that commemorates the rich heritage, history, and culture of the Tibetan people. It’s attended, according to some estimates, by tens of thousands of people from across the country and the globe.
When is it?
It all goes down on July 25th and runs for three days until July 27th.
What goes on there?
The festival is full of scheduled activities and events, which have been increasing each year since the the festival was first held in 1990. There are symposiums on regional culture, contests of traditional tibetan sports, showcases featuring singing and dancing–including tibetan opera and ethnic costumes. There’s also the merging of art and commerce with trade fairs and folk art shows. It’s a smorgasbord of tibetan culture, for both observers and collectors.
Where is it?
Well, Tibet. Obviously. But the festival takes place in the Yalong River Valley, which is considered the “cradle of Tibetan civilization,” in the Shannan prefecture. The valley is believed to be the birthplace of the Tibetan ethnicity and where legend tells that Tibetans were created when a supernatural monkey and a fairy mated.