Monlam Chenmo was established in 1409 by lama Tsongkhapa, the great philosopher and founder of Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The first festival was held in Jokhang in Lhasa, where thousands of monks gathered together for chanting prayers and performing religious rituals, such as Buddhist dances (cham), torma offering, giant thangka unveiling, etc. Due to all these rituals have been preserved, they are being performed every first lunar month nowadays in Amdo.
According to the Buddhist belief, time of Shakyamuni Buddha is considered as the time of Dharma (Buddha’s teachings) flourishment or the time of spiritual prosperity. However, it has already passed its peak, therefore, is gradually declining. During Monlam festival monks, nuns as wells as lay people are sending prayers in order to postpone and slow down time of decay.
Amdo Monlam Chenmo Festival 2024
This discovery tour will lead you to through the cultural area of east Tibetan area Amdo in western Sichuan. In this area you will feel different religious atmosphere as in the center Tibet (TAR). The main target is the Tibetan New Year Festival (Monlam Festival, Losar) 2024 in Ngawa County(Aba County) Sichuan Province. This tour offers us the opportunity to participate in various religious ceremonies with colorfully dressed believers and monks. Ngawa is an important centers of Eastern Tibetan cultural area Amdo.
The highlight of the festivals will be the „Basking of the huge Thangkas with the figure of the Buddha“. During the festival rip, the colorful Monk Mask dances, pray ceremonies, traditional show and the party of the local Tibetans will be held incessantly.
Itinerary: Aba Monlam Festival
2024 February Chengdu to Barkham(Ma’erkang)
Today, we begin our journey by driving to Barkham, there is about 320 kilometres, it takes 4-5 hours. Once arrive in Barkham, visit Virozana meditation caves. Short hike up to the meditation caves and experience Tibetan Buddhism culture, then drive to Barkham city for overnight.
Overnight: 4 star Hotel
2024 February Barkham(Ma’erkang city) to Aba County
You’ll depart from Barkham city. The road is well paved road, and the view widens, while the paved road crosses the grassland. It is scattered with hundreds of thousands of yaks, sheep in summer time, and leading up to Dzatse mountain north to Aba County.
Overnight: Paldzam Hotel
2024 February Ngawa Kirti Monastery Thangka Unfolding day
Today is the “Biggest day” of Ngawa Kirti Monastery and Sage monastery Monlam Festival, The ceremony of Thangka unfolding will be held on this day, we will get up early to attend this program in the different monasteries in Ngawa County.
Overnight: Paldzem Hotel.
2024 February Aba County
Today we will attend programs of Mask Dance at Kirti monastery and Gomang monastery.
Overnight: Paldzom Hotel.
2024 February Ngawa Nangshuk monastery
Today we will attend programs of Nangshuk monastery. Which is traditional Tibetan Bon religion, We will witness the Mask Dance at Nangshuk monastery.
Overnigt: Paldzom Hotel.
2024 February Aba County to Chengdu City
Our visit to Aba festival ends today, we will drive about 550km in total. En route, you’ll enjoy the landscape of the Tibetan plateau, magnificent mountain ranges and beautiful Tibetan stone houses on the way back to Chengdu.
Once arrive in Chengdu at your hotel, say a goodbye to our Tibetan guide and driver. End your pleasant journey in Amdo Tibet.