Namtso Lake: Shoton Festival tourist hit

Updated:2011-08-30 20:39


It's the second day of Shoton Festival in Tibet's autonomous region this year. Namtso Lake - one of Tibet's three holy lakes, has become a hot tourist attraction.

Namtso, in the Tibetan language, means "heavenly lake". It is 4,718 meters above sea level and its surface area is 1,940 sq kilometers. It is the highest altitude salt lake in the world and the head of the three biggest sacred lakes in Tibet.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the lake is a famous holy land. It is said that in the Year of the Sheep if any travelers circulate the lake and Tashi Island once and Tuechun Island 12 times, they can acquire merits and virtues. It will be a blessing for good health and a happy life for their family.

Shoton Festival is one of the most important festivals in Tibet. It is taken from the Tibetan words meaning "yogurt" and "banquet". The event is an occasion to mark the end of the 100 days of self-cultivation and meditation for monks who were not allowed to leave the monasteries until June 30 in the Tibetan calendar. Shoton Festival this year will last from August 29 to Sept 5.

All photos taken on Aug 30, 2011.