Tibetan monastery observes New Year

Residents of Xigaze, in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, celebrated the Tibetan New Year on Thursday with the performance of a distinctive religious ritual.
Monks with different masks and instruments in the Sagya Monastery performed the spectacular ritual, attracting local residents in their traditional dress.
“We came here very early in order to complete our pilgrimage before watching the show,” said Benba, who rode for three hours with her friends to reach the monastery from Tingri County.
Tibetan New Year falls on Feb. 11 this year. But the event fell on Thursday in Xigaze.
Basang, a 63-year-old man, threw a handful of local highland barley seeds into the sky while watching the performance.
“I wish for a bumper harvest, favorable weather and safety in the new year,” said Basang.
With a history of more than 500 years, the monastery’s ritual expresses the wishes of locals for peace and happiness.