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2019 Monlam Festival in Rebkong(Tongren) and Labrang Monastery

Highlights:
Kumbm Monastery: It was ranked in importance as second only to Lhasa. Overview Kumbum Monastery is one of the six great Gelukpa sect monasteries in Tibet. And Birthplace of Tsongkhapa- the founder of the Gelukpa Sect (Yellow Hats) of Tibetan Buddhism

Rebkong: The art of Thangka painting.

Rongpo Gonchen Gompa: the principal monastery of Repkong and was originally constructed in 1301.

Monlam Festival: One of the biggest and grandest Festival in Tibetan area, enough time to watch thangka unfolding and cham dance in both Rebkong and Labrang monastery.

Labrang monastery: One of six Gelugpa Monastery in Tibetan Buddhism, It boasts the best Tibetan Buddhism system and is hailed as the world’s institution of Tibetology.

D1(February, 2018): Arrival in Xining
Airport pick-up and transfer from airport to hotel in xining.

D2(February, 2018): Xining – Kumbum Monastery – Tongren
After breakfast we will drive to Tongren, and visit Kumbum Monastery.

Kumbum Monastery: Established in 1377, Kumbum Monastery enjoys a great reputation in Tibetan Buddhism, especially among monks of Gelugpa, because Master Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelugpa, was born near here, Kumbum Monastery is one of the six great Gelukpa sect monasteries in tibetan area. 3rd Dalai Lama, 4th Dalai Lama, 5th Dalai Lama, 7th Dalai Lama, 13th Dalai Lama, 14th Dalai Lama, the 6th Panchen Lama, the 9th Panchen Lama and the 10th Panchen Lama, have held religious activities in Kumbum Monastery.

We will drive to Tongren County in the historic region of Amdo, which is the cradle of Rebkong, the famous town of Tibetan painter, and is the only national historical and cultural city in Qinghai province.

D3(February, 2018): Tongren
After breakfast we will go to Gomar Monastery to experience local “Thanksgiving Breakfast”. On the 8th day of lunar calendar in January, the activity of “Thanksgiving Breakfast” is held annually in Gomar Monastery, which has already been lasting for over 200 years, except during “The Cultural Revolution”. “Thanksgiving Breakfast”, is that the monastery receives donor’s giving, which will be donated to the local people as a breakfast in the village. This is a thanksgiving activity, whose capital is donated by villagers, and the monastery will give away the money and other stuff, to make a morning tea or cook a breakfast for villagers, being grateful for everyone’s help through the whole year. The scene of this activity is very spectacular. The monastery has to prepare enough butter cake, yak-butter milk tea, fruits, candies, and small notes for almost several thousand people.

Thanksgiving Breakfast lasts for about one to two hours, then we will go visit Gomar Monastery. Be prepared for afternoon’s shooting.

Thangka Unfolding: The ceremony of thangka unfolding is very serious. The lama who are responsible for maintaining order should walk first, other lama falling behind hold canopy, beat the drums, play spiral trumpet, and some young men carry red-cloth Buddha to the Thangka Unfolding Platform. Along the road, Tibetan people will try to touch thangka with their forehead, because they think that means good luck and endless honor.

We will take pictures of thangka unfolding in Gomar Monastery and Wutun Lower Monastery.

D4(February, 2018): Tongren
Today we will stay in Wutun Lower Village and Wutun Monastery for the whole day. We will go experience the folklore in the village and the monastery, visit Master of Thangka painting in the village or in the monastery, and enjoy their skilled techniques and delicate paintings.

We will also hold an important activity in Wutun Lower Monastery – Cham Dance. The dancer will wear mask and gorgeous costumes, and carry wishful and magical tools in hand, to perform as god protector, to praise god, to cut the devil, etc. The dancer moves fast, quickly and dramatically.

D5(February, 2018): Tongren
The whole day for shooting Cham Dance in Gomar Monastery. And visit of Rongpo Gonchen Gompa.

D6(February, 2018): Tongren – Xiahe
Around noon we will leave for Labrang Monastery.
Labrang Monastery is one of six Gelugpa Monastery in Tibetan Buddhism, It boasts the best Tibetan Buddhism system and is hailed as the world’s institution of Tibetology. You will find world’s longest corridor of prayer wheels, which has 1700 prayer wheels and is 3.5 km long. And Monlam Festival will be most busiest days in Labrang Monastery around the whole year.

D7(February, 2018): Labrang Monastery
To take pictures of Thangka Unfolding in Labrang Monastery. Thangka Unfolding is the highlight of Monlam Festival. The process is similar to the ceremony in Tongren, but here get more pilgrims, and the scene is busier.

D8(February, 2018): Labrang Monastery
Take pictures of Cham Dance in Labrang Monastery.
Around tens upon of thousands of pilgrims and visitors dressing up gather together around the square of Labrang Monastery. When the music starts, the cham dance begins. With the monk’s accompaniment, over 30 dancers with masks tell religious stories vividly to audience by dancing and turning around. Cham dance is like early Tibetan dance grace, rough, bold, and anthropomorphic. The characteristics are to introduce the good and bad roles through masks. This kind of dance is learned from folk dance, with dramatic jumping and turning.

D9(February, 2018): Labrang Monastery—Lanzhou
After breakfast, we will return Lanzhou and end our trip.

Dates & Prices:

Date Group size Price per person
February, 2018 3 Persons USD1380
February, 2018 4-10 Persons USD1200

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