Culture\Events and Festivals

Thangka adorns hillside during Shoton

By HOU LIQIANG/DAQIONG/ZHANG YI | China Daily/Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-22 09:13

Thangka adorns hillside during Shoton

In the morning, monks and believers carry the rolled-up thangka from the monastery on the opening day of Shoton Festival, a traditional annual gala in Lhasa, the Tibet autonomous region. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Shoton Festival, also known as the Yogurt Banquet Festival, has been held since the 11th century. It was originally a religious occasion when locals would offer yogurt to monks who had finished meditation retreats.

"Sound development of cultural affairs is one of the strengths of Tibet, and remarkable progress has been made in this since late 2012. The central government is investing 1.5 billion yuan ($23 million) in the region's cultural sector from 2015 to 2020, five times the investment of the previous five years. In the same period, departments of the central and regional governments and other organizations are contributing more than 2 billion yuan to the regions' cultural development," said Zhou Hongyang, deputy head of the regional Cultural Affairs Bureau.

There are more than 140 professional Tibetan Opera groups and 2,446 amateur groups across the region, according to the bureau.

In the first half of this year, 8.6 million tourists have visited Tibet, a 25.3 year-on-year increase, generating about 9.3 billion yuan in revenue.

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Xinhua contributed to this story.

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