Ganden Monastery is one of the 'great three' Gelukpa university monasteries of Tibet, located at the top of Wangbur Mountain, Tagtse County, 36 kilometers ENE from the Potala Palace in Lhasa, at an altitude of 4,300m. Being the farthest from Lhasa of the three university monasteries, Ganden traditionally had a smaller population with some 6,000 monks in the early 20th century.
I had just arrived in Lhasa 3 hours before Shoton Festival start. The Thangka is suppose to be at first light, island time? By 11:30 it was unrolled. This year, this is the first monastery to unroll their thangka because this particular thangka is some 300 years old. This thangka will not be used or seen again. This is made of silk and has applique work. It is in remarkable condition but has had many repairs.
ShotonFestival (Yoghurt Festival), usually celebrated in the sixth month of Tibetan calendar, is one of the most important festivals in the Tibetan Buddhism and in Tibetan area. It is one of the traditional festivals with a long history in Tibetan history.
"Sho" means the Yoghurt and "ton" means banquet in the Tibetan language.ShotonFestival means the festival when people drink Yoghurt according to the explanation of Tibetan.