Tibetan Spiritual Leader His Holiness The Dalai Lama (left) walks through a crowd of devotees as he arrives at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamsala, 31 March 2006, to attend the annual Shoton Festival. Shoton literaly translates as yoghurt festival during which traditional Tibetan operas are performed and yoghurt is distributed among celebratants.
The 12th Annual Shoton-Opera Festival 2006 will be held in TIPA, Dharamsala from 31st March to 8th April 2006.
There exist two main theories to explain the origins of the Shoton. In India, the Lord Buddha initiated the practice of monks going on a summer retreat. When Buddhism came to Tibet, this practice was adopted by many monasteries there. In Drepung Monastery, the summer retreat started on the 15th day of the sixth month of the Tibetan calendar. On the 30th day of the same month, the “Disciplinary Monk” was replaced. This particular occasion is called the Drepung Shoton.
Masked artists from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts Dharmsala perform traditional Tibetan opera in Dharmsala, India, Friday, March 31, 2006.
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