April, 2002 The Shoton Festival for the Water Horse year (2129) by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) will begin this year from 16th May 2002, and will continue for the next seven days.
According to an announcement by TIPA “the day for commencement is in keeping with the schedule of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. TIPA takes pleasure in announcing the commencement of “Shoton” – the festival of Tibetan Opera, for a week starting 16th May 2002.”
Lhamo, or Tibetan Opera, performers from various Tibetan Settlements in India, and Nepal will present opera performances in their distinct styles.
Shoton in Tibetan means the “Great Yoghurt Festival”.
It was established in Drepung Monastery around the latter part of 19th century.
In independent Tibet, around mid-August the pastures were at their greenest and the monks had ended their annual summer retreat. Offerings to the monastery were made in the form of rich dzomo and dri milk.
The Shoton Festival became the annual feast of yoghurt dishes at Drepung to which Opera groups from all over Tibet were invited to perform for the monks and their guests.
Images from Shoton 2001 (Photo: Tenam)