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Litang Horse Racing Festival
A Great Traditional Festival in South Kham

Known as “Hometown of Horsemanship”, the main event in Litang is the horse racing festival. The Litang Horse Festival is held in summer in Litang County, Ganzi Tibetan Prefecture, Sichuan Province, Southwest China. Khampas from all over the Tibetan Plateau come to ride, trade, celebrate, dance and sing. Khampas are Tibetan and usually nomads. The festival is held generally in the first week of August, and it usually runs from August 1 to August 7. During the festival horsemanship and horse races are held upon the Tibetan Ponies. These small and fast horses are raced and shown to see who owns the best horse. A lot of honor and prestige is placed on who owns the best horse.

The most exciting part of this festival is the horse racing. Brave riders take their pretty decorated horses to participate in the races showing their excellent horse riding skills, including picking up the scarlet on the back of a fast running horse and shooting targets while galloping, etc. The handsome men and beautiful women wear their most beautiful traditional folk dresses with valuable jewelry. And it is also a ideal time for trade. Various Tibetan living wares such as hides, medicinal materials, milk and butter are put on the stands for sale. Tibetan opera performances, Tibetan Xian Zi dances, Tibetan Guo Zhuang dances and folk songs are much more splendid.

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