Lithang Horse Festival – Tibetan Festival
Lithang Horse Festival is a well-known Tibetan festival held during summer in Lithang Couty, Kham, Tibet, it usually starts on the 1st of August, celebrated for 7 days. The festival itself originated from one of the town’s chief monastery, Lithang Monastery’s functions. Now, the function-turned-festival is attended from all over the eastern Tibet (mostly nomads), it mainly includes Tibetan ponies, racing them and proving who has got the best horse. The festival is set in the warm weathers so that the high elevation of the place wouldn’t affect the long-distance race and tent camping.
The race is the prime event of the festival where participants from different parts of Tibet pride their horsemanship to see who owns the best horse. A lot of honour and prestige is placed upon the one who wins the race. This year, riders from Mongolia and Hong Kong have taken participation too. The race includes different tasks like picking up scarfs whilst riding and mounted archery, it can even be called a slightly dangerous activity. A pretty big amount of tourists has been built around it, more adding up every year. Becoming a tourist attraction has helped the nomads keep up the tradition and the local economy along with it.
Lithang is a small under-developed town in the mountains of Kham part of Tibet in Sichuan Province at an elevation of over 4,000 m. Habituated by only a thin 70,000 people, Lithang makes one of the top Tibet attractions with exotic sceneries and its exhorting traditions. The high altitude may cause you a little difficulty breathing or lightheadedness but if you are camping the night there, Lhasa’s acclimatisation will help there since there differ by only a few hundred meters. Laid vastly along the 318 Sichuan-Tibet National Highway, the site is the ultimate place for a peaceful walk around this time of the year.
Since this year’s festival has concluded a few days ago, you can book your own Tibet tour to Lithang Horse Festival for next year with Explore Tibet.