The culture, customs, and traditions of Tibet are very distinct and well preserved even after so many years mainly because of its remoteness from other areas. It holds a central place with respect to Buddhist practices throughout the world. Many of Buddhist rituals have also made across the globe.
Tibetan customs and Traditions:
The people of Tibet have a very rich culture dating back to 7th century. The Tibetan culture derives its influences from Buddhism and Bon culture. The amalgamation of Himalayan Indian and Nepal customs has imparted diversity to its culture. Certain customs and traditions are particular to Tibet. For say while entering the temple everyone has to take off his hat; smoking and alcohol are considered taboo.
The Tibetan people have distinct traits, features and habit owing to their well-preserved culture and remoteness from the world. They are extremely friendly and jolly.
1 Tibetan Cuisine:
Owing to the high altitude, Tibetan people rely on protein rich food and a lot of butter to keep their bodies warm. The most famous items in their kitchen for which they are known around the world are buttered tea and Tsampa.
Barley, wheat, and potato are widely used in Tibet. The meat of animal called Yaks is used. This animal is distinctive to Tibet as it survives the temperature of -30 to -40 degrees. It is used to derive fur, dairy products, and meat.
2 Tibetan clothing:
The dress worn by Tibetan is usually robe and the collared shirt. Aprons are worn by ladies especially the married ones. This style of dressing differentiates Tibetan culture and imparts a unique colorful touch to it.
3 Tibetan Music and Dances:
The Tibetan culture is rich with music and dances. For almost every occasion the natives will sing and dance to the core. Some of the festivals even include dances lasting the whole day.
The chanting is particularly important in Tibet as a part of music traditions accompanied by drums and other instruments. Chanting is also a part of some religious customs. Lately, the Tibetan music has also become inspired by Indian ghazals.
4 Tibetan Festivals:
Since the start of history in Tibet centuries ago, festivals are celebrated with great zeal and zest. The most important and famous are religious festivals inspired from Buddhism. There are some famous Tibetan Festivals such as Tibet New Year, Nagqu Horse Racing Festival, Saga Dawa Festival and Shoton Festival.
The article about Tibetan Festivals
5 Distinctive prayer flags:
One of the most beautiful sights in Tibet is the row of colorful flags at every windy location. These are called prayer flags they are thought to be talisman or protector. They symbolize peace and harmony. They are in five colors namely blue, yellow, red, green and white.
6 Tibetan arts and literature:
The literature of Tibet is very vast and has also been translated into some western languages. Moreover, the art and painting methods, symbol and scroll used in Tibet stands out in the whole world. Famously known as Thangka, Tibetan painting is influenced by Kashmiri’s and Nepalese culture. The paintings involve the picturization of different religious characters and creatures. Even the hand made jewelry is known for its color play.
7 Tibetan Language and writing:
The Tibetan language has different dialects which are spoken across eastern, northern and western central parts of Tibet. The Tibetan Language originated from the 7th century when the Emperor Songstan sent Thonmi Sambhota to India to learn Sanskrit. Then Thonmi Sambhota, who is the creator of Tibetan langue, devised a script for the Tibetan language based on the Devanagari model as well as 50 basic letters of Sanskrit.
8 Tibetan architecture:
The Tibetan architecture is noteworthy for its flat roof tops and the horse prayer on each roof. This horse prayer is also known as LUNGTA. The terrain is marked by temples here and there. The general build of houses is from wood ceramics and earth. Large windows are kept to garner as much sunlight as possible. The beautiful interplay of colors against the snow covered mountains gives a mystical scenario.
9 Heritage Sites in Tibetan:
1) Potala Palace :
Potala Palace, located in 300 feet above the city of Lhasa, was built as the center of Tibetan government by the fifth Dalai Lama in 1645. The general structure of the Potala Palace has two parts: the Red Palace and the White Palace. The beautiful murals in the Potala Palace are very attractive as well as tell the story of Tibet. The golden roof on the top of the Red Palace is certainly worth a visit.
2) Jokhang temple:
Jokhang temple, located in the center of old Lhasa city, is the spiritual center of Tibet the holiest destination for all Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims. The most precious object in Jokhang temple is a life-sized sitting statue of Sakyamuni when he was 12 years old.
Tibet is replete with a history of empires like Yarlung and Qing empires, religions like Buddhism and a culture distinct to this snow land. When you travel in Tibet, you just like go to a completely new world. The experience is life time as one experiences nature to its fullest and the colors to their brightest.