Shigatse, the 2nd largest city in Tibet about 300 kilometres from Lhasa. The Tibetan people call it “Shege Tse”, meaning “the manor of fertile soil”. Here, Yalu Tsangpo River converges with Nianchi River at a height of 3,836 meters above sea level. Shigatse enjoys 3,233 hours of sunshine per year, even more than Lhasa. The dazzling collection of exquisite monasteries is sure to impress you: Tashilungpo Monastery, dwelling place of the Panchen Lamas and symbol of Tibet; Shalu Monastery, combination of the Tibetan and the Han culture; Palkor Chode, an artistic museum of towers and wall-painting; Sagya Monastery, shrine of Tibetan Buddhism.

More than 500 years old, Shigatse was once the centre of Tibetan politics and religion. Abundant sunshine, water and fertile soil make the city one of the granaries of Tibet. The modern Shigatse has seen rapid urban development, and its traffic system is convenient. If you travel south from Shigatse, you will come to Mount Everest—“the roof of the world”. Shigatse is well-known for its breathtaking scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage. Awe-inspiring snow-capped mountains, picturesque primeval forests, aquamarine lakes and vast pasture, mysterious and legendary monasteries, unique local customs…you will never know the real Tibet until you come and see it in person.

Shigatse Attractions:

Kangbu Hot Spring

Karuola Glacier

Mount Shisha Pangma

Mount Everest

Tashilungpo Monastery

Shigatse Stories:

Shigatse customs

In the Shigatse region, the most important festival is the Tibetan New Year. The celebration begins from 29th December of the Tibetan Calendar. On this day, the local residents hold “Guqia”, meaning to do a thorough cleaning of their houses. During the cleaning, the kitchen receives special attention: people draw the Badge of the Eight Auspicious because the kitchen is said to be the dwelling place of the God of Water and the God of Cooking. In the evening, the locals hold the ghost-driving ceremony; then they have dinner with their families. The main dish is “Gutu” made from flour, cheese crumbs, lamb, carrot and ginseng fruit. On 30th, the last day of the year, people will decorate the Buddhist hall and put cereals and goat heads as sacrifice. On the Tibetan New Year’s Day, people will drink highland barley wine at three or four o’clock in the morning, exchange New Year blessings and enjoy dishes such as the goat heads, lamb and fried meat pans with families. This is the day when no one has to work or clean; also, nothing should be broken on this day because it is ominous. This is how the Tibetan people celebrate the Tibetan New Year.

Jack Li
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