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Nagchu Horse Racing Festival

nagchu map
Celebrated in each August 1, Nagchu Horse Racing(那曲赛马节) lasts 5 to 15 days.
It is the grandest one of its kind across the Tibet.
Except for unrivaled horsemanship performances, it also involves archery, weight lifting, tug-of-war, reciting Epic of King Gesar, camping, collective dance, recreational singing and large scale trade.
Nagchu Horse Racing Festival201420152016Festivities
 那曲赛马节 Aug1 to Aug 5 or 10 Aug1 to Aug 5 or 10 Aug1 to Aug 5 or 10 horse racing, wrestling,archery, collective dance, ethnic singing
Nagque in August is renowned for its ethereal and spectacular beauty, with the lush grasslands carpeted with rainbow-hued wild blossoms
nagchu horse racing festival
and dotted with miles of colorful tents springing up overnight. Complementing the poetic surroundings are streams of herdsmen gathering from all directions. Clad in their vintage clothes and dazzling jewelry, they congregate in a settled venue like countless colorful streams converging into a sea. 

As a convention, a solemn circumambulation of the horsemen around an open air shrine marks the beginning of this grand event, which is highlighted by horse racing. Horse Racing falls into various categories based on age, distance and contents. In terms of age, it can be divided into Children Horse Racing VS Adult Horse Racing. With an eye to the diversified fanciful performances conducted from horseback, it splits into archery, shooting, speed competition, present Qingke (highland barley) Wine and pick up Hada (white ribbon symbolizing utmost respect and purity, which is represented to guests to express homage and friendship).

These horse racing activities are exhilarating, compelling and breathtaking. The fame of both the championship horse and its owner, will spread far and wide across Tibet, at meteoric speed. Sometimes, the fame of these horses even exceeds that of their maters and these horses are usually enlisted into a celebrity list.

Romance is also in the air. Nagchu Horse Racing festival not only brings the solitary herdsmen across the Tibet, but also bridges their heart. Young Tibetans take this chance to look for their sweet hearts, and it usually works. Nagchu Horse Racing is valued to such a degree that the Tibetan girls will put on jewelry weighing from several kilograms up to over 50 kilograms. This phenomenon is prevalent in Anduo County, which is famous for their stunning girls, who will show up during this event to see and be seen.

nagchu horse racing festival


Picking up Hada from horseback is the most engaging part of Nagchu Horse Racing Festival. This highly challenging performance requires both courage and consummate horsemanship.

In addition, Nagchu Horse Racing Festival culminates in a spectacular horse racing competition involving hundreds and even thousands of competing horses dashing towards the terminal.


During Nagchu Horse Racing Festival, stalls will spread up overnight, serving a variety of delicacies such as yogurt, cheese, roasted lamp and their famed national beverage: Qingke (Highland Barley) Wine. Take a bite, you will love them.


Watch horse racing, horsemanship performances, sample local cuisine and join the Tibetan collective dance named Guozhuang or Qiangmu.
The most fantastic side of Guozhuang Dance is that no matter what level you are at, the locals know how to move will sweep you of your feet. You’re always guaranteed a friendly, positive and outgoing atmosphere and an overall great time.
 nagchu horse racing festival

Insider’s Tips


The Best Time to visit Nagchu: May to September

November to March: It is the dry season. Cold and windy.

May to September: relatively warm, the prairie reveals its most beautiful side.
nagchu horse racing festival
nagchu horse racing festival
nagchu horse racing festival
 nagchu horse racing festival
 nagchu horse racing festival
 nagchu horse racing festival

Map: Where is Nagchu?

nagchu prefecture
nagchu map2
Author: Sophia     Posted on Dec 10, 2013


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