China Festival Tours
China has 56 nationalities, and each of them has their unique festival during the long history of nationality forming. Some of the festivals are becoming popular holidays for all of the nationalities, such as Spring Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Moon Cake Festival, and some ethnic minorities are still keeping the custom of celebrating their interesting festivals, which is becoming culture fossil at the boarder of extinguish.
China Exploration believes Festival is the important channel to study the culture of the nationality as well as good way to keep it. We have developed a few festival tours based on this idea. And a few customers also had very nice time in our trip. In our tour you will enjoy the pretty nature, unique culture and lifestyle of local Chinese.
Qinghai & Gansu New Year Tibetan Monlam Festival
'Monlam' also known as The Great Prayer Festival, falls on 4th -11th day of the 1st Tibetan month in Tibetan Buddhism. The event in Tibet was established in 1409 by Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Geluk tradition. As the greatest religious festival in Tibet, thousands of monks gathered for chanting prayers and performing religious rituals at the big Temples in Tibetan area.
"The main purpose of the Great Prayer Festival is to pray for the long life of all the holy Gurus of all traditions, for the survival and spreading of the Dharma in the minds of all sentient beings, and for world peace. The communal prayers, offered with strong faith and devotion, help to overcome obstacles to peace and generate conducive conditions for everyone to live in harmony."
Traditionally, from New Year's Day until the end of 'Monlam', lay Tibetans would make merry. Many pilgrims from all over Tibet would join the prayers and teachings, and make donations to the monks and nuns. Many monasteries would hold special prayer sessions and perform religious rituals, for example some monasteries would unfold huge religious scroll-paintings (thankas) for all to see.
This trip will take you to the important Tibetan Buddhism base in Qinghai and Ganshu province.
DAY 1 –Feb 19th Xining Arrival(D)
Upon arrival in Xining, transfer to the hotel and have a nice rest.
DAY 2 –Feb 20th Xining-Kumbum-Tongren(B,L,D)
Morning drive to Kumbum(26km express way 30 minutes) to pay a visit to Kumbum Monastery, which is one of six great Gelukpa sect monasteries, also the birth place of Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelukpa sect. Then head for Tongren(220 km in total, first 26km back to Xining), the hometown of Regong Art. Visit Upper Wutong Monastery in Yagotsang Village.( Program: Mask Dance and Tibetan Fashion Show)
Road Condition: From Xining to Kumbum is 26 km, express way, 30 minutes drive. From Kumbum to Tongren, 220 km in total, first 26 km back to Xining, then another 40 km express way, the rest is 2nd class provincial road, intotal 4 hours drive.
DAY 3 – Feb 21st Tongren(B,L,D)
Today visit Down Wutong Monastery in Magotsang Village.( Program: Sunning Buddha)
DAY 4 – Feb 22nd Tongren(B,L,D)
Today visit Down Wutong Monastery in Magotsang Village.( Program: Parade Maitreya Buddha Statue aroud the Monastery)
DAY 5–Feb 23th Tongren(B,L,D)
Today visit Down Wutong Monastery in Magotsang village. (Program: Mask Dance and Tibetan Fashion Show) Then to Guomaren Village.(Program: Parade Maitreya Buddha Statue aroud the pagoda)
DAY 6 –Feb 24th Tongren-Xiahe (B,L,D)
Morning drive to Guomaren Village.(Program: Religious Dance). Then head for Xiahe.
Road Condition: 180 km in total.Since you will pass mountain areas and the road is not good enough, so it will take around 4 hours to arrive at Xiahe. In the evening visit a local Tibetan family to enjoy local flavour.
DAY 7 –Feb 25th Labrang Monastery (B,L,D)
Pay a visit to Labrang Monarstery, one of the 6 biggest monersteries in Gelu Sect of Tibetan Buddhism.Standing by the Daxia River and facing the Dragon Mountain, Labrang Monerstery is a propitious place in the hearts of the Tibetan, In the afternoon you are free to walk around in Xiahe Town.
DAY 8—Feb 26th Labrang Monastery(B,L,D)
Pay a visit to Labrang Monarstery. (Program: Sunning Buddha)
Day 9—Feb 27th Labrang Monastery(B,L,D)
Pay a visit to Labrang Monarstery. (Program: Mask Dance and Tibetan Fashion Show)
Day10—Feb 28th Xiahe (B,L,D)
Morning after breakfast pay a visit to a Tibetan family.( Program: Tibetan girl’s Grow-up ceremony) After lunch attend Butter Lantern Festival in Labrang Monastery.( Program: Butter Sculptures Show)
Day 11—Mar 1st Xiahe/Lanzhou(B,L,D)
Morning pay a visit to Labrang Monastery.(Program:Parade Maitreya Buddha Statue aroud the Monastery). Then drive to the provincial capital of Gansu Province—Lanzhou.
Road Condition: 380km in total. 1st class provincial road.Three and half hours drive.
Day 12—Mar 2nd Lanzhou Depature(B)
Morning transfer to airport. Take a flight to next destination.
Dragon Boat Racing Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the May 5th of Chinese lunar calendar, and it is regarded as one of the most important Chinese festivals as Chinese Autumn Moon Festival and Chinese New Year.
In the dragon boat festival, people will eat Zongzi, hold a grand ritual of commemerating the patriotic poet Quyuan, and the most exiting will be dragon boat racing. Each village will choose their dragon boat delegate, about 15 members, and they will meet in the big lake or river with thousands of villagers as cheer squads. When the hero heard the shot, they will row their paddles as best as they can in order to reach the destination as the first. In some place, they will put a duck at the destination, the earliest reachers will fight for catching the duck, which added a lot of fun to this game. And the village will be proud of their winners for long time… And now dragon boat racing is poplular in Souther China, especially in Yangtze drainage area as a traditional sport activity.
In our trip, we will organize you to the original place of Dragon boat festival, also the home town of Quyuan. You can just enjoy this grand ceremony. And we are planning to form our own boat team, therefore you can participate it yourself!
D1__June 14th Yichang / Zigui
Fly from Shanghai or Beijing to Yichang, and then take bus from Yichang to Zigui in about one huour’s driving. Night in local hotel.
D2__June 15th Zigui
This morning you can practise the dragon boat in local base. In the afternoon do some city tours as visit the Phoneix Mountain, where the famous Quyuan temple is located.
D3__June 16th Zigui / Yichang
In the morning the exiting time will come. After a short time’s ancient ritual of commemerating Mr Quyuan, the patriotic poet 2000 years ago. And then the dragon boats Racing will start. You will see the boats all start as arrow leaving its bow in the thunder like gong and drum. After the breathtaking Dragon boat Race, we will drive back Yichyang, visit the Three gorge dam., and then board the Yangtze cruise in the evening.
D4__6 June 17th __19th Yangtze Cruise
Enjoy the beautiful three Gorges in cruise.
D7__June 20th Chongqing
Arrive in Chongqing in the morning and end of tour. You can fly to other cities from Chongqing.