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Tibet Travel Information

So you’re planning to travel to Tibet one of these days. Hmm…that’s a good idea. Tibet, after all, can easily be reached and is now open to tourists. Thus traveling to Tibet is not so much of a problem.

However, there are still some factors that may affect the success of your travel to Tibet. The weather, for instance, is a big factor to consider. So for that fact, I have mentioned below a few of the most helpful Tibet travel advices. Consider the following:

Know A Bit of Tibet’s Travel History

Tibet is part of China, and China has opened its doors to tourists from all over the world just in 1979. However, until these days, only a very few cities are open to travelers. A special permit is still required for visitors to come in. So when visiting Tibet, make sure that you have the permit. Also prepare your visas and passports if you are traveling from outside countries. This Tibet travel advice is all but common sense.

Respect the Tibetan Culture

Tibet has its own culture. So if you are coming from a foreign country, learn to respect the Tibetan culture. Note that for several years, the culture of the Tibetan people has been under attack, so don’t anymore create a problem with them. Observe all the public rules and regulations set, and if you noticed that the Tibetans are so appreciative towards you, you probably have been showing some interest on them. Try not to go around taking pictures of the place and its people, as for them that’s not a good act. If you’ll do, ask the locals first. The main point of this Tibet travel advice is simply to show some respect to the Tibetans.

Learn the Tibetan Language

As you may realize, learning a new foreign language is challenging. So before you go to Tibet, try to learn even just a bit of the Tibetan language. Learning the local’s language will help make your travel more enjoyable. You can easily interact with people and be understood easily by them. Aside from this, the Tibetans might be glad to know that you have taken amount of time just to learn some of their language. And, if you want to get instant Tibetan friends, just heed this Tibet travel advice.

Make the Most of Your Trip

There are a lot of things you can do to make the most of your trip to Tibet. Perhaps one of the worth taking moves is simply to spend money with the Tibetans. Just dine in Tibetan restaurants, and buy your travel essentials at Tibetan shops and stores.

You can also make your travel to Tibet more enjoyable if you try to know first where exactly in Tibet you wanted to go. But before you decide on a particular place, know first the location, the accessibility, the rules, and everything you may need to know about the place. Again, this Tibet travel advice is simply a matter of common sense.

Tibet Language

Every area in the world has its own language spoken by its people. The Tibet language is one of them. As given, the Tibet language is spoken by the locals of Tibet, China. However, the scope of this language is not only evident in Tibetan area, but it is also spoken by a great number of people living in Nepal, Bhutan and several parts of the Northern India, counting Sikkim.

The Tibet language is considered by linguists as a part of the Tibeto-Burman sub-group, which is but a part of the Sino-Tibetan languages. Being part of this family, the Tibet language is uttered and written based on the rhythm, tone and syllabic patterns of the olden Sanskrit language of India. It is also in this way that the Tibet language is written in scripts, which is considered by linguists as a very conservative syllabary script.

However, the original form of the Tibet language was developed in the following years as a way of translating the sacred texts of Buddhism. With the developments, it’s no surprise that the system of writing of the ancient Tibetan times now differ in a number of ways to that of the colloquial Tibetan language spoken by majority of the Tibetans these days.

Speaking of translations and developments, it is interesting to know that the Tibet language into a more complex form when the texts of Buddhism which were printed in Sanskrit were brought to the Himalayas. There, the texts were translated carefully into Tibetan by the meditation scholars who spent their days studying at institutions led by masters of Indian nationality. The translation and teachings just ended at the start of 11th century, the time when the originals of Indian were ruined and lost due to the suppression of Buddhism by Muslims in the Indian Territory. It is worth knowing though that by that period the spread of the Buddhist artistic, meditative and textual traditions with philosophical tones that were observed in Tibet was accomplished. Following the completion of this transmission was the addition of more teachings to the original Tibet language.

The development in the form of Tibet language further continues when many of the advanced scholars and meditation experts had moved to the West, carrying the sacred art works and texts with them. It is worth knowing that the language used for these written texts is called Classical Tibetan.

Today, most of the people in Tibet speak the known Colloquial Tibetan. This is composed of about four dialects, and much to your surprise, people who live in widely separated areas of the Himalayan region may have difficulty understanding one another due to the Tibet language varieties. By far, the customary dialect of Tibet is that which is spoken in the city of Lhasa, Tibet’s capital.

Festivals in Tibet

Just like the rest of the world, Tibet has its own festivals celebrated every year. People from different areas in the world flock to Tibet to witness and participate in these events, while others visit Tibet at these times knowing that the whole province, especially the city of Lhasa takes on a vibrant party atmosphere.

The festivals in Tibet are generally calculated according to the city’s lunar calendar. So if you are planning to visit and witness these events, it would be best if you’ll check the lunar calendar first for you to know the exact dates of the festivals in Tibet.

Below is a short list of the most celebrated festivals in Tibet. Just read on and don’t miss them during your visit.

Tibetan New Year

If you are wondering what festivals in Tibet is the greatest, the answer is the Tibetan New Year. It is considered as the greatest for the reason that it is during this time that Lhasa and the rest of the Tibetan province takes on its most colorful form. The Tibetan New Year is celebrated on the first day of the first month, and it’s nice to know that during this period, families unite and dine together. They also greet each other with the “auspicious words”.

Monlam

The Monlam is known throughout Tibet as the great prayer festival. Of the festivals in Tibet, this is the one celebrated midway through the first lunar month. Also, it is during this time when the icon of the maitreya from the jokhang is borne around the barkhor. It is this icon actually that attracts people, pilgrims and locals alike.

Saga Dawa Festival

The Saga Dawa Festival is the holiest of the festivals in Tibet. This is marked as the birth of Buddha and His enlightenment. People who flock to the city during this event spend their time joining the circumambulations round the city. Most families during this time also spend their afternoons on picnic at the foot of the Potala Palace, right at the dzongyab lukahng.

Shoton Festival

Tibet is rich in opera festivals. One of the greatest festivals in Tibet that has something to do with opera is the Shoton Festival which is celebrated in the month of August. In this festival, opera contests and distribution of prizes are held for about a week.

Ganden Festival

The Ganden Festival is basically an exhibit featuring the 25 precious articles of the Ganden monastery. These articles are locked in their treasure house and are displayed only in the main shrine hall on the 15th day of the 6th Tibetan month. The display is usually accompanied by a grand offering ceremony.

Harvest Festival

Held on September, the Harvest Festival is one of the most well-known festivals in Tibet. During this time, the farmers in Lhasa, gyantse and shangnan commemorate their bumeer harvest, and it is also during this event when people spend their time enjoying the horse racing games, songs and dance archery, picnic, costume fashion shows, and a lot more. Of all the festivals in Tibet, this is one of the merriest.

Tibet Travel Articles

» Travel to Tibet
» Tibet Visitors Info
» Tibet Travel FAQ
» History of Tibet
» Geography of Tibet
» Discover Lhasa Tibet

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