You are here: HomeTravel GuideAbout TibetTibet FestivalsHorse Racing Fair

Horse Racing Fair and Archery Festival

02 June 2022 Last updated at 17:51

Overview of Horse Racing Festival

Horse Racing Fair is a unique festival in grazing area of Tibet. It is usually held between June and July in Tibetan calendar, when the pasture is lush and horses and cows are stout and strong. The horse racing is seen every year, but a large one is held every two or three years. It will last several days, with the longest ones over 10 days. The most magnificent one of them is Horse Racing Art Festival of Nagqu.

How to Celebrate Horse Racing Festival

As the horse racing starts, herdsmen will come from a long way by horse or yak, wearing colorful clothes for festivals, and all kinds of jewels and ornaments. The horse racing field will instantly be surrounded by tents.

The event includes horse racing and horsemanship. The horse racing intends to test the controlling ability of the horseman and the viability, exploding force and stability of the horse. There are long-distance and short-distance horse racing, covering thousands or hundreds of meters. The horsemanship match has such contents as shooting arrows, target practice, chopping, picking up hada and offering highland barley wine on the horse.

The atmosphere is comfortable and the event is more a performance than competition. There are no detailed rules for the match. In addition, such programs as two-man tug-of-war and carrying huge stones are also performed. As night falls, people make a campfire and sing and dance around it.

Development of Horse Racing Festival

The horse racing has been endowed new meanings, especially in recent 20 years or so. The scale becomes larger, the forms diversified and contents more colorful. While preserving the traditional programs and new ones such as folk dance, art performance, fashion show and folk costume display, people also start inviting bid for business and trade, commodity exchange, science popularization, law publicity and medical care. The horse racing festival has become a grand trade ceremony to boost economy and accelerate economic development.

Horse Raceing FestivalExciting Horsemanship Competition
Horse Raceing FestivalPeople Celebrate Horse Racing Festival Happily

Notes for Nagqu Horse Racing Festival

How to Get to Nagqu: Nagqu is located along Qinghai Tibet Railway, so you can take a train to Nagqu from Lhasa or other gateway cities like Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai,Guangzhou, Xian, Xining and Gansu. Most tourists choose to drive to Nagqu from Lhasa, which takes about 6~7 hours.

Where to Accommodate in Nagqu: Though there is no luxuries hotels now, There are several hotels ranging from starred comfortable hotels to economic guesthouses for you choice. Some of them proved good facililties as well as pleasent service.

High Altitude Sickness Tips: The average altitude of Nagqu is over 4,450 meters, and you need to pay attention to High Altitude Sickness. You can spend several days in Lhasa for acclimatization. It will be helpful to take some precautionary measures, like drinking more hot water, always keeping warm, avoiding strong activities etc.

Horse Racking Festival Tour Booking: We provide a 6-day Nakchu Horse Racing Festival Tour. Take part in the popular Nakchu Horse Race Festival on your Tibet vacation for a very special insight into the cultural treasures of Tibet. Or contact us to customize your own Tibet journey.

Have a question? Get answers from our travel experts soon!

  • Your Question:
  • Your Name:
  • Your Email:
  • Submit
My wish list