Gyantse Horse Racing Festival

Horses have been good companion of the Tibetan people for generations. Therefore, festivals themed in horse race are imperative. The horse race festivals are held in many areas, among which, the Changtang (Nachu)m Gyantse and Damshong Horse Race Festivals are most famous.

Among all, the Gyantse Dama (Horse Racing and Archery) Festival can be dated back to 500 years ago, initially for consecrating the Gyantse Prince Gungsang Rabten, who had built Pelkor Chode Monastery, as well as to his highly esteemed grandfather. At the beginning, it was mainly for religious events, and later on evolved to horse race as a predominating event and it spread over to Lhasa, Changtang and Gongbo, etc. The festival actually begin with religious events such as mantra reciting, holy dancing and displaying images of Buddha, etc, between the 30th day of the third Tibetan month and the 18th of the fourth month each year. Then it proceeds to horse race on the 18th and 19th, and archery contests on the 20th and 21st. Besides, there are also some other events for fun include yak race, donkey race and so on. Almost from every part of Tibet, merchants of different levels are also busy with their trading. Presently during the festival there are lots of contest in between the towns under Gyantse county such as culture dance contest, horse race and so on.



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