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望果節 Wangguo Festival (Ongkor Festival)
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編號: X - 145
Inscribed list: National List, Forth Batch
Inventory no.: X - 145
Nominating unit(s): Tibet Autonomous Region
Wangguo Festival (Ongkor Festival) is a Tibetan traditional festival to celebrate successful harvests. Wangguo festivals are believed to have a history of more than one thousand and five hundred years. The festival is normally held in July or August, for one to three days. Farmers will walk around the farmlands to wish for bumper harvests for the following year.
The Wangguo festival is said to have originated in the late fifth century. The king of the Tibetan people went to the leader of the Bon religion to request for his help in ensuring a good harvest for the year. The leader told the king that he should order the farmers to circle the farmlands with incense burners in their hands, chanting and praying to appeal for a good harvest. This activity of circling the fields is what gave the festival its name of “Ongkor,” which means to circle around the farmland. This activity was practiced before the harvest, but was not a formal festival until the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism became popular in Tibet in the later centuries. The “Ongkor” activity developed into a more formal festival colored with the religious flavor of the Gelugpa school.
The Wangguo festival today is held for one to three days before the harvest. Each region that practices the festival may not hold it on the same day, and thus the whole of Tibet in the months of July and August will see the continuous welcome of the festivities. Every farmer in the village will dress up in their best attire, hold high a statue of Buddha, carry scriptures on their backs, and hold in their hands “dada” (sticks wrapped with strips of five-colored material). The farmers will circle the fields and sing songs giving thanks for the plentiful harvests. Circling the fields is the most important part of the festival. After that, farmers will return to their village and have entertainment such as horse racing, Traditional Tibetan opera performances, wrestling, and archery. After the festivities are over, the farmers will start the busy work of harvesting and sowing.
In 2014, Wangguo festival was included on the forth batch of the National List of Intangible Heritage of China.
Tibetans celebrate harvest festival