June 10, 2009

Traditional Tibetan Opera masks at Shoton Festival, Tibet, China

Location: Norbulingka Palace, Lhasa, Tibet, China (29° 39′ 14″ N, 91° 5′ 30″ E)
Date: 12 August 2007, 2.20pm
Camera: Canon 400D with
Sigma 17-70/f2.8-4.5

Norbulingka was the summer palace for Tibet's Dalai Lama until "liberation" by China. Part of it is now converted into a museum and venue for traditional theatres and dances. The grounds contain fountains, pools and gardens. The gardens are popular with families especially during the Shoton Festival every August when they picnic and camp for days. The grounds are colourful during this period, adorned with makeshift windbreak of colourful rugs and Tibetans in their best and colourful costumes. Traditional operas have now become a major part of the Shoton celebration. These operas normally go on for days and can continue with a few episodes. However most, if not all of them are old stories, mainly of good against evil and some are family comedies. Nearly all of the actors/actresses wear masks during such performances.

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