As an old tradition, Khampas from all over the Tibetan Plateau come to trade, celebrate and ride at The Litang Horse Festival every August. A cultural event held in Litang County, Sichuan province, China.
Khampas are Tibetan nomad, usually herders. During the festival horsemanship and horse races are held upon the Tibetan Ponies. It is a very significant event, as it helps to establish socio-economic hierarchy in Khampas who participate, and a lot of honour and prestige is placed on who owns the best horse. The horse-racing festivals takes place across the Kham nomadic regions of western China, drawing thousands of spectators where nomads pitch their tents at the location.
The town of Litang, home to a high proportion of Tibetans, saw a mass protest during the horse-racing festival of 2007, as the area has a long history of fighting under Chinese rule. The standoff began during the festival ceremony, August 1 2007, after police detained a Tibetan nomad for whipping up the crowd to shout in support of the Dalai Lama. Afterwards the Chinese security forces launched a huge military crackdown in the region, also following the self-immolation protest on March 17 of a monk from Kirti monastery that killed himself.
This series of images are from the 2017 Event, that took place 10 years after the 2007 protest and suspension of the event by the local government.