Kanas Lake Festivals and Events

Spring Festival

Time: The lunar January
Chinese Spring Festival is one of the most important traditional festivals in China. All Chinese people celebrate it in their special way. The main nationality of Kanas Lake areas is Tuvans and they celebrate the festival in different ways. Tuvans call Spring Festival “Chagan”, namely “White Festival”. They worship white from ancient time and take it as the symbol of good and lucky. In Spring Festival, the young present hada and toast to the superior and kids present them to parents because they see the vine as the essence of food and white as a valuable gift. The two gifts are carried with the meaning of "blessing" and "lucky".

When snow seals mountains and the lake freezes, the comes Spring Festival as well. Tuvans wear ceremonial dress to gather on Kanas Lake to hold activities like horse racing, archery, wrestling and skiing. The whole village would have a wine party, and there would be Buddhist scripture reading as well.

Aobao Festival (敖包节)

Time: Lunar May to July (when the Kanas Lake sees the most amazing flower blossoming
It is also known as “Take’en Festival” which is a festival that Tuvans offer sacrificing to the nature. Tavans in Kanas is a branch of Mongolian, and they have some differences with Mongolians in festival celebration. They would celebrate in mountains where view abundant grass and build Mongolian yurts. Then, their unique ceremonies would be carried out. When the ceremony done, activities like horse racing, wrestling and archery would be held.

Zoulu Festival

Time: The 25th day of the 10th lunar month
It is a unique Tuvan festival. In this day, all the nomads come back to the village to commemorate the death of Living Buddha Mahekala (马盒卡拉). It is said that he was 125 years old on the day he passed away. For auspiciousness, nomads take some ground cypress with to home and light them at night. Then, people sit around at night to pray and make a bow with hands folded in front. After the ritual, they go home and light oil lamps to gain light so the festival is also known as Lighting Lamp Day.

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