Horse Racing Festivals in Tibet
The summer festivals showcase nomadic life and culture
The Horse Racing Festivals are among the most well-known celebrations among the Tibetans. The Festivals are a mix of Buddhist ceremonies, exhibitions of Tibetan culture and life, and sports like horse races, yak races, tugs-of-war, and so on. Riders show their skills and crowds wear their best customary clothing and gems.
Nagchu/Nagqu (TAR), Gyantse (TAR), Yushu (Qinghai Province) and Litang (Sichuan Province) are the most celebrated horse festival spots, with Nagqu being the most famous. The Horse Racing Festivals are the best time to visit Tibet, and are generally held in June-July, when the fields are lavishly green, and ponies and dairy animals look stout and powerful. Horse racing is held every year; the big festivals are held every two-three years.
The Horse Racing Art Festival of Nagqu is held on the brilliant meadows of Nagqu, when the grass is tallest and the climate is obliging to the people.
The different festivities occur over 3-7 days. The altitude of Nagqu is over 4,450 meters, and people needs to take preventive measures for acclimatization, like drinking hot water, keeping warm, avoiding strong activities and so on.
As the time nears, the herders get together, wearing bright garments, gems and trimmings, and the fields get encircled by tents. The occasion incorporates horse hustling and horsemanship. Racing is an event to showcase the skills of the horseman and the pony. There are long and short distance horse racing events, covering thousands or several meters.
In the pony races, nearby travellers and herders race for the end goal in a courageous endeavour to win.
The Qinghai Yushu Horse Racing Festival exploits the warmer climate, so the valley floor has green grasses appropriate for significant distance horse races and tenting outdoors.
The Yushu Horse Race Festival isn’t just another vacation; Tibetans from everywhere throughout the Kham district get together for customary game, melody, move and costume show rivalry, and in this manner, Yushu is otherwise called the Cultural Centre of Khampa. Shows of horsemanship, arrow-based weaponry for horseback and dashing, are the main draw.
Horse racing is gaining in popularity. The spectators have increased, and the substance of the celebrations have been progressively becoming more varied. The horse racing celebrations have become a fantastic exchange of culture and supports the economy.