August 10 – Qiangtang Kyagqen Horse Racing Festival

Posted on August 10, 2016

You probably know that translating names in a language that doesn't use our Roman alphabet is pretty tricky, and there are varying spellings of holidays when such “translation” is needed. (Actually, writing a foreign name or word according to English conventions is called transliteration, not translation.)

And it's not like the different transliterations are even very similar. Have you ever struggled to look up the Jewish December holiday in an alphabetical situation – is it Chanukah? or Hanukkah? or...?)
Tibet is a part of China.

Tibetans declared their independence
decades ago, but China hasn't
recognized Tibet's independence...
so there is tension and sometimes violence... 

Well, the horse racing festivals that occur today in Tibet are spelled so differently, in various sources, I don't know which spelling to choose! Another spelling, aside from Qiangtang Kyagqen, is Changtang Chachen.

Anyway, however you spell it, people travel to the town of Nagqu, from all over Tibet, riding their horses and bringing stuff to show off and trade or sell. They put tents in the grasslands on the outskirts of town, and then they settle in for a week of horse racing, archery competitions, yak racing, demonstrations of horsemanship, and entertainment from song and dance troupes.

Riding into town...
Racing so fast, everything is a blur!

Tricks and demonstrations

Dancers in costume 

Also on this date:

"Mr. Summer Time's" birthday

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