Dharamshala, April 7 (ANI): Scores of foreign tourists and opera enthusiasts converged for the closing ceremony of the 10-day annual Tibetan Opera Festival on Tuesday here. he 15th annual Shoton (Yoghurt banquet) Opera festival was a big draw among the tourists. Today, is the final day for Opera Festival and we have been celebrating it for last 10 or 11 days. People from different Tibetan settlements have come here; we have almost 200 members performing here. I think, it is a very good platform for youngsters," said Tsering Pamo, a Tibetan Opera artiste on Tuesday.
Under the guidance of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) has been making special arrangements for inviting the opera companies-in-exile to participate in the colourful festival since 1993.
Different troupes performed at six different schools in and around Dharamsala for 10 days and the closing ceremony was held at the TIPA.
"Shoton festival is a very ancient Tibetan traditional Opera festival. Unlike other years, for this year's 15th Tibetan Shoton Opera festival, we tried to reach out to Tibetan schools that are located in and around Dharamsala," said Tenzin Lobsang, Secretary, the TIPA.
Traditionally, the Shoton festival is celebrated on full moon day to mark the end of the long summer retreat of Buddhist monks. It originated at the Drepung Monastery of Lhasa in Tibet around 14th century.
The festival took its name from 'Sho', or yoghurt served to the monks and nuns who practiced purification rituals during the time and ate no meat during full moon days.
This was also the time when operatic re-enactments of stories from the life of Buddha and his previous births were shown.
The festival started off on March 27. By Akhilesh Bharati (ANI)