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From: China Tibet Online 2011-08-04 13:17:00
by: Melinda Jin
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Tibet hails higher tourism season

With the impending Shoton Festival, one of the grandest traditional festivals in Tibet, the southwestern region of China witnesses another high tourism season as can be easily fathomed from the shortage of accommodation and tickets for many historical and scenic spots.

"Sho" means yoghurt and "ton" means banquet in the Tibetan language. Shoton Festival or Yoghurt Festival as called is one of the most popular holidays in Tibetan Buddhism, conventionally celebrated in the sixth month of the Tibetan calendar.

This year, Lhasa will celebrate the festival with a series of "happy Lhasa, colorful Shoton" themed activities from August 29 to September 4.

This tradition has descended from a Tibetan Buddhist rite that monks go out of monasteries and down the mountains to receive alms, mainly yogurt, from local followers.

Besides, artistic performances and religious activities are held during the festival, so the event is also called "Tibetan Opera Festival" or "Buddha Thangka Unfolding Festival".

The organizing committee introduced that there will be a variety of celebrations divided into 6 categories, altogether 18 items, including the traditional celebration such as Buddha Painting Show, Tibetan Opera Performances and Exhibition of Intangible Cultural Heritage, followed by sports activities including Horse Riding Show, Yak Race and Tibetan tug-of-war.

There will also be tourist activities like Hiking Race and Horse Racing Festival, and entertainment celebrations, such as Beer Festival, Singing Contest and Model Contest, etc.

Although the Shoton festival is still one month away, Tibet has already entered the busiest tourist season. Many hotels near scenic spots in Lhasa have been fully reserved, as the tourist website "Qunar.com" shows. In addition, airlines show that recently no discount or limited discount is offered to flights to Lhasa from Beijing and other major inland cities.

[editor : ]
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