Yak butter flowers bloom on Lantern Festival

On February 19th, the fifteenth day of the first month of both the Tibetan and lunar calendar, is known as Lantern Festival in Chinese tradition. This day is also the last day of the Spring Festival. Then, how do Tibetans spend their time on this day?

On this day, Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet is bustling with its annual "Jonga Chopa". "Jonga" means the fifteenth day of the month and "Chopa" means articles of tribute.

Photo shows a piece of Thangka painting made of yak butter flower, the Auspicious Four Animals displayed in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet.

Every year, when the first full moon is appearing and the lights are all on, the annual Yak Butter Flower Lantern Festival is held in Kumbum Monastery in Qinghai, northwest China.

At the same time, Labrang Manastery in northwest China’s Gansu province also has an exhibition of yak butter flowers and this event has had a history over 280 years until today.

In May of 2016, the craftmanship of making yak butter flowers and sculptures was included in the national intangible cultural heritage item.