Shang-Lang Festival: Savor authentic Nomad Life in Labrang
After long, cold days on the Tibetan Plateau, warm, glowing sunshine finally wakes up all the flowers on the grasslands. Only found in Labrang, Shang-Lang Festival celebrates the best time of a year, from Lunar Calendar 6th June to around 15th June. Originally a time for Tibetan monks to collect firewood in the wild before their summer retreat, now an occasion for local people to gather and enjoy picnic and camping on grasslands, it is a special event not to be missed if you are visiting Labrang in July.
On Shang-Lang Festival you can expect various forms of enjoyment in this area, and decompress yourself in open green space and hospitality of nomad people. Enjoying freshly made mutton and yak meat, plus beer and yogurt, while playing traditional games or dancing with local Tibetans, maybe even joining some horse racing, are just a few things for you to savor here.
Given more time, you may immerse deeper in authentic Nomad life by participating their daily activities: dwelling in a black tent, eating with locals, working with them from grazing to milking, and making Tsampa and yogurt…. An ideal way to forget the past, and get back refreshed to your life.
On arrival in Labrang, you’ll be sent to a comfort hotel near Labrang Monastery. After a rest, you’ll have chance to watch local nomadic people doing kora around the monastery, or burning fragrant plants in worship of Buddha and local deities, which represent the spiritual part of their daily life.
Today you’ll be taken to Sangke Grasslands and introduced to a circle of local Tibetan herdsmen. Whatever you like, you can share their food and recreational activities: Guozhuang dance, elephant tug of war, wrestling, horse riding, or even playing football on vast grasslands! By chance you’ll be competing not only with local nomadic people, but also with Tibetan monks, to see the pure pleasure of Shang-Lang festival is mutually shared between monks and ordinary people
If normal enjoyment and gathering with local Tibetans can not satisfy your curiosity, you can go deeper into the grasslands nearby, with more wild flowers and authentic nomad lifestyle. There you’ll be put into a black tent, mixing with a Tibetan family, to experience their daily life: milking and making butter, grazing and sheep-shearing, making yogurt and Tsampa……when the night comes, you’ll have chance to dance with locals around a campfire, or listen to a folk tale told by Tibetans, under the star-spangled sky.
Waking up on the quiet grasslands, you can choose to stay longer, or return home from a nearby location: Xiahe, Lanzhou or Xining.