(ECNS) -- Lhasa, the capital of northwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, received 2.86 million domestic and overseas tourists during the Shoton Festival, creating an income of about 1.03 billion yuan (about $143.37 million), Lhasa tourism authorities said Wednesday.
On the first day of the Shoton Festival, the Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery in Lhasa held the “sunning of the Buddha” ceremony, one of the most solemn activities during the festival. Tourists waited for a few hours in order to see the sacred Buddha.
Tibetan Opera was performed in the Zongjiao Lukang Park behind the Potala Palace and in the world cultural heritage site Norbulingka Institute by actors and actresses from counties and districts in Lhasa during the festival.
According to a staff member of the Lhasa Sports Bureau, 120 athletes from seven cities in Tibet competed in 14 events, including traditional ethnic equestrian, speed horse racing and horse riding, with 30,000 seats for spectators at the scene packed.
Additionally, 51 primary students participated in the Tibetan chess competition and over 40 Tibetan chess experts and enthusiasts from all over the region participated in the Tibetan chess performance.
Shoton Festival, which literally means "yogurt banquet festival," is one of the most important festivals for Tibetans. It was celebrated from Aug. 16 to 22 this year.
The festival, together with Tibetan Opera, was included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage in China in 2006.