Lhasa travel, Tibet travel news – Pilgrims, tourists celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year in Tibet

LHASA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — With sutra chanting resonating over the Jokhang Temple and smell of incense wafting in the air, Buddhist pilgrims from western China celebrated the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Lhasa in their own way.

“I came here just to worship the Buddha,” said Gunkyab Dainba, a Tibetan Buddhism believer from northwestern China’s Qinghai Province, which neighbors Tibet.

Dainba came to Lhasa by train with five family members.

He circumambulated the main palace of the Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet, together with hundreds of believers. Extending 500 meters, the route is an interior circular line.

Some of them fueled flickering butter lamps with yak butter, or honored their deities to the Buddha with scarves while murmuring sacred mantras. Some were kowtowing in front of the temple.

Meanwhile, tourists all across China were enjoying the unique culture there.

On the Barkhor Street, where pilgrims tramped out around the Jokhang Temple through centuries, tourists were busy picking up handicrafts from Tibet, India and Nepal.

“I like photography, the temples and the people here,” said Hao Zhigang, a 1.8-meter-tall man from the eastern Shandong Province.

Hao arrived in Lhasa 15 days ago and shot many photos about Tibetan folk culture. Barkhor Street was the place he would never miss.

“I will give the wonderful handicrafts to my girlfriend,” he said.