The Bathing Festival
Tibet Bathing Festival
The Bathing Festival, also known as “Garma Ri Gi” in Tibetan, starts in the early part of the seventh lunar month and lasts for a week when Venus appears in the sky. There is also a legend about this festival. Long time ago, there was a very famous doctor and his name is Yutuo Yundan Gongbu. The king Trisong Detsen invited him to be the royal doctor. However, Yutuo always took the opportunity of collecting herbs to cure common people’s illnesses. In one year, the plague was prevalent and many people lost their lives. Fortunately, Yutuo cured the disease for many patients.
After Yutuo died, when the plague came again, a woman dreamed of Yutuo telling her to bath in the Jiqu River when a bright star showed in the night sky. The next morning, the woman followed the instruction and was cured miraculously. People believed that the star was Yutuo’s incarnation and the god only gave him seven days to cure people’s diseases. So the seven days are for celebrating as bathing festival.
For celebration, thousands of Tibetans set up tents along rivers, enjoy their food and bath themselves from morning to evening. It was believed that bathing at this time can bring people good luck and heal all kinds of illnesses and misfortunes. People also wash their clothes and blankets in the river. In addition to sanitation and health purpose, people celebrate the festival for meeting families and friends and socializing with each other. The atmosphere of the festival is quite joyful and pleasant.
Read more Tibetan Traditional Festival.