Tibetan Buddhism has many festivals celebrating the births and mourning the deaths of many great Buddhism scholars and teachers Gautama Buddha, Tsongkhapa, Padmasambhava, Palden Lhamo etc. Most of Tibetan Festivals include quite a number of rituals and visits to the monastery of the specified festival i.e. Ganden Monastery on Tibetan Butter Lamp festival (Ganden Ngacho  aka Commemoration Day of Tsongkhapa), Sera Monastery on Sera Phurjel and Drepung Monastery on the first day of Shoton Festival and so on.

Palden Lhamo Festival – Tibetan Festival

Frog-faced Palden Lhamo

Pal-Lhamo festival is no different except that Tibetan women tend to celebrate the festival with more enthusiasm, especially local Lhasa Tibetans, the festival falls on the 15th of Mindrug Month i.e. the 10th month of Tibetan Lunar Calendar (in the vicinity of December most of the years). Tibetan pilgrims from all over Tibet, mostly women, of course, would travel miles to have an audience the statue of the Frog-faced Palden Lhamo and the statue of King Songtsen Gampo at Jokhang Temple. And it’s never easy to get to the front, the line for the audience extends for a couple of kilometers.

Palden Lhamo Festival – Tibetan Festival

Pilgrims Dancing in celebration of Palden Lhamo’s annual union with her lover.

The legend behind is that Palden Lhamo, as a girl, was very mischievous and disobedient, so when her mom got tired of tending her, her mother cursed her to grow up into an ugly woman and to get meet her lover only once a year. As cursed by her mother, she later grew up into a frog-faced woman and only got to meet her lover (protector deity of Drip, the village on the northern side of Kyichu River) once a year, the day of their union was later marked as Pal-Lhamo festival.

Palden Lhamo Festival – Tibetan Festival

Statues of Palden Lhamo (on the right) and Songtsan Gampo (on the left).

However, the festival is celebrated only in Lhasa and Explore Tibet has the best local Lhasa Tibetan tour guides and the best Tibet tour itineraries to cover any Tibetan festivals. 4 Days Lhasa Highlight; 6 Days Cultural Excursion; 8 Days Spiritual Odyssey.