Tibetan Festival (Sho Dun) 雪頓節 – Xuĕdùn Jié

Holiday of Tibetans “Xuedun”

The word “xue” in the Tibetan language means white-white sour milk, “dun” – a festive dinner, feast. It turns out that “Xuedun” is a holiday when sour milk is drunk. The history of the Xueyedun holiday can be traced back to the 17th century.

At that time, the bonzes living in the world could not leave the monastery from the beginning of spring until the beginning of summer. Only in July could they leave the monastery. It was at this time that it was customary to make butter and milk jelly, since the cattle in the fields were sufficiently fattened. So, the bonzes, leaving the monastery, went down to the foot of the holy mountains and drank sour milk, which was treated by ordinary people.

As you can see, the holiday began to take shape precisely as a religious one, but subsequently, from year to year, the religious side faded into the background, and the holiday itself was overgrown with new and new cultural and entertainment performances.

The holiday “Suedun” has another name – the holiday of the Tibetan theater. It was on this holiday that many different corpses gathered in the administrative center of Lhasa to perform with their colorful numbers. Artists usually perform in the square. There is a lot of singing and dancing in Tibetan theater, and artists perform with makeup or masks. The festival begins every year on June 30th according to the Tibetan calendar. The holiday is very fun – theatrical performances are held in the Nobrinke Dalai Lama Palace Park, people sit on the lawns, drink milk and enjoy the theater. Also at this time it is customary to visit each other and set festive tables.

By the way, if we are already talking about Tibetan theater, then it is worth talking about its founder.

It is said that in the 15th century there was a monk named Tandum-gyalpo. Once he saw that there was no bridge across the river, and realized that people needed this bridge, since everyone had to cross the river, and due to the absence of a bridge, they had to go around it for a long time. He decided to try to raise money for the bridge. He collected for three whole years, but the collected money was not enough for him. He was very upset. Soon he met seven intelligent and beautiful girls among the pious believers. He decided to organize a troupe with them, he himself came up with numbers on various subjects. With the troupe, he went around many places, and soon they managed to raise money for the bridge. This was a kind of prototype of the Tibetan theater, and the monk himself went down in history as its founder.

Based on materials from China magazine, issue 10, 1998.

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