Tibet - Facts for the traveller, when to go, events
Facts for the traveller for TibetDialling Code: 86
When to Go to Tibet
Athough the Tibetan climate is not as harsh as many people imagine, be prepared for sudden drops of temperature at night, particularly in Western Tibet. The best time of year to be in Tibet is between May and early November, after which temperatures start to plummet. However, in May and June there is a wind factor to consider, and dust storms are not unusual. These are not pleasant if you're hitching or trekking but usually come in squalls and can be seen coming. Lhasa and Shigatse experience very mild weather between May and November although July and August can be rainy. These two months usually see around half of Tibet's annual rainfall.
In Tibet, there are many festivals throughout the year that attract the faithful as well as curious onlookers. Dancing monks can be seen in the Year End Festival (February-March) held to dispel the evil of the old year and auspiciously usher in the new one; Losar (New Year Festival) is a colorful week of activities (February-March), including Tibetan drama, pilgrims making incense offerings and Tibetans dressed in their finest crowding the streets; cham dancing and chang drinking are the order of the day at the Tsurphu Festival (May-June) - the highlight is the dance of the Karmapa.
The Gyantse Horse Racing Festival is a traditional event that takes place in June and features dances, picnics, archery and equestrian events; the Chökor Duchen Festival, held in Lhasa around August-September, celebrates Buddha's first sermon at Sarnath near Varanasi; the Bathing Festival (September-October) sees locals washing away the previous year's grim in the river; Lhabab Düchen (November-December) commemorates Buddha's descent from heaven.