A day-long celebration of Tibetan culture, history and activism.
The festival brings together a wide range of content, covering many different aspects of the Tibetan story. We are very excited to welcome our special guests, the Tashi Lhunpo monks, who will be opening our festival with a beautiful ritual before creating an intricate sand mandala.
There will be educational displays on Tibet's history and political situation, campaigning activities, and stalls selling Free Tibet merchandise and Tibetan products made by refugees in Dharamsala, India.
We also have an events schedule full of talks, workshops, a film screening and more.
Advanced tickets are available at £15. To buy a ticket on the door it will be £17.
Our very special guests
We are honoured to announce that we will be joined by Tibetan Buddhist Monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is one of the most important monasteries in Central Tibet and is the the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, the second highest Lama in Tibetan Buddhism after only the Dalai Lama.
After the Tibetan national uprising that took place in 1959, a handful of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery monks along with many thousands of Tibetans escaped into India. The Monastery was then subsequently re-established in Bylakuppe in Karnataka State, India.
They will be with us throughout the day creating an intricate sacred Peace Sand Mandala and performing for us.
The Sand Mandala
Over the course of the day (when they aren't busy performing), the Tashi Lhunpo monks will be building a sacred sand mandala. Of all the artistic traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, that of painting with coloured sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite. In Tibet this art is called dul-tson-kyil-khor, which literally means “mandala of coloured powders.” Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days, or sometimes weeks.
Once the mandala has been completed the healing process is fulfilled when the sand is swept away and half is distributed to the audience at the closing ceremony, while the remainder is carried to a nearby body of moving water, where it is deposited. The waters then carry the healing blessing to the ocean, and from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing.
The sweeping away of the mandala also stands as a metaphor of impermanence, key to the Buddhist teaching and practice.
Introduction to Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Hanna Thomas
Before our festival is ritually opened, there is a chance to reconnect to your body and calm your mind through breath and movement. Hanna has been teaching yoga for over a year and teaches at Paper Dress Yoga in Hackney.
Opening ceremony with the Tashi Lhunpo Monks
As part of the opening ceremony the Tashi Lhunpo monks will be chanting, blessing and performing a traditional Shanak (Black Hat Dance). Once our festival has been opened they will be creating a beautiful Peace Mandala where each grain of sand is infused with peace and compassion for all beings.
Mindfulness for Stress with Sanghasiha from the London Buddhist Centre
Sanghasiha has been teaching secular and Buddhist meditation for over 8 years and is a Breathing Space teacher at the London Buddhist Centre. This taster session is an opportunity to get a sense of the way you can use mindfulness to reduce anxiety and depression, manage pain and addiction.
A talk from Tibetan Mastiffs Rescue UK
Jeremy and Cindy Goatcher will bring along their rescue dogs Yang and Zeus to raise awareness of the organization and the invaluable work they do to rescue and re-home dogs.
A talk from Tibet Watch
Our research partner Tibet Watch will be joining us to give a talk on what they do and how they support our fundamental campaigning work from their office in Dharamsala, India.
An introduction to Free Tibet’s work
In this talk Free Tibet’s director, Eleanor, will be talking about the vital work we do to raise awareness and campaign for a Free Tibet.
A talk from the Chair of the Tibetan Community London
The Chair of the Tibetan Community in London will give an introduction to the various activities the community conduct, as well as sharing his experience of living in Exile.
Poetry from Tibet
This is an opportunity to listen to poetry written by Tibetans both in Tibet and Exile.
The Tashi Lhunpo monks will close our event with the destruction of the sand mandala which symbolises impermanence. The sand will be distributed to everyone who attended the festival and the rest will be poured into water to symbolize the spreading of peace to all beings.
Talk and film screening of Little Tibet with Sonam Anja-Tsang
Tibetan film maker Sonam will be giving a talk about his film Little Tibet followed by a film screening.
Get your tickets
Tickets are now available at £15 per person, which gets you access to the entire day's schedule, including all the talks and workshops. Please note that there are no physical tickets being delivered for this event. Upon first arrival, give your name at the door and you will be given a wristband - this will allow you to leave and re-enter the venue as you wish throughout the day.