Horce Racing Festivals

https://tinyurl.com/l5bgp7a (c) 2017

Being closely bonded to nomad cultures like the Mongolians and Tanguts for centuries, Tibetans like riding and racing horses, especially herders from Qinghai and Sichuan. Every year there are many horse racing festivals at different times scattered around the Tibetan areas, and they each are from distinctive origins and features. Horse racing festivals are for many reasons, primarily six, being celebrating harvest, competing, feting gods and ancestors, showcasing horses and wealth, exchanging goods, and finding lovers.

The Nagqu Changtang Chachin is the biggest of all the festivals and its name literately means a route in the Northern grassland, and it is most significant, at least at its beginning, for feting gods and past sages by dressing and riding like King Gesar and competing for glory. The festivals are also festivals of dating, and it’s not exaggerating to say that young people regard it heavier than the new year, as they would carry their tents, putting on the best dresses and jewelries, and gather at the steppe in songs.

The races have many forms and the most anticipated one has to be sprinting, and the curious thing you will find is that all the riders for sprinting are mostly children aged below 12, and that is for weight reduction, meanwhile it exercises the boys and occasionally girls to bond with the herds and carrying on the traditions



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