Festivals in Ngari
Nagri, bordering Nepal, India and the northwest areas of Kashmir also Cashmere separately, lies around the root of Himalayas from north to south. The average elevation of Ngari is 4,500 meters, and it occupies more than 310,000 square kilometers. Ngari is the west pole in Qinghai-Tibet altiplano, which is also the highest point where human live. Therefore Ngari is called the third pole on the Earth’s surface, after North Pole and South Pole.
Although the weather in Nagri is freezing, people there are warm and hospitable. The best-known dance Xuan(kind of traditional dace in Tibet which only the special chosen old people know how to dance and is passed down from one generation to another ) not only owns a long history, is also the best way to present the characteristic of Tibetan costume. After a taste of a cup of mellow Qingke wind (kind of highland barley grown in Tibet, Qinghai and Sichuan), ghee tea, acidophilus milk, be offered a piece of hada scarf, you will be moved by the pure heart of the people in Ngari.
Mulangqinmu (kind of great prayer festival)
In January in Tibet year, there will be a great prayer festival or ceremony holding in Tholing Monastery (also called Mulangqinmu). At that time, besides the lamas in the monastery or nearby villages, lamas from the other 25 branch monasteries will also come to attend the great ceremony. During the 20 days’ ceremony, the villagers or other attendees except the lama will give the monastery lots of food in charity, such as zanba (an Tibetan food, roasted qingke barley flour), ghee or butter, rice, meat etc. From 18th to 19th January in Tibet year, the lamas in Tholing Monastery will perform a kind of grand religious dance-Qongmu. The performance will last two days, but the costume and stage properties they use are quite different. The stuff they use on 19th is much more luxurious and precious than on 18th. And also the number of audience increases a lot on the 19th. After the show there will be a grand exorcizing ceremony held on the square of the monastery, which is called Dorga. During this ceremony, firstly all the lamas in the monastery and all the audience go to the square together to attend the ceremony, and then they come back to the monastery. The local people wear millions of costumes (some of the costumes are passed down from mother to daughter one generation after another for tens of generations). They will dance Guoxie, Xianwu (two kinds of religious dances) until the next morning when the ceremony is over to pray for a good year.
Ceremony of Setting up the Sutra Flag
It is said that in the ancient time, there was a merchant named Nobu Sanbo carried a bag of gold on the back to worship the sacred mountain. But the journey was so far away and rugged, even after experiencing numerous hard passed he could not find the sacred mountain. However, he was determined to find the holly mountain until he used up all his gold. In order to memorize this long suffering and the poor merchant, the king of Ngari named the place where the merchant firstly arrived Ser Shon (Ser means gold and Shon means use up). He also orderd to hold the Ceremony of Setting up the Sutra Flag there every year, which is called Day of Ajuron. This festival become a legal festival and will last forever.
Men’s day is an enjoyable festival in Kejia, Purang County. From 11th to 15th every February in Tibet year, all the men who are above 18 years old will be treated as God. They gather on the square in front of the Kejia Monastery, just sitting on the mat drinking and watching the play. Women and children will stand besides watching until the men’s day end.
To prepare for men’s day, the old men who enjoy the most prestige in the village will inform every family of providing rice, flour, ghee, meat and firewood needed in the festival. Before China’s liberation, lots of the poor cannot provide the stuff for the festival so that they give up the chance to attend it. But now it’s quite different. Every man can pay for the festival. And once there are 105 men attending the festival. Every day in men’s day, women from every family will serve the men in turn to drink. During these days, men are sovereign and happy. But after the festival, men and women will stay equal to each other.