Before the 17th century in Tibet, “Shoton” was a pure religious activity. According to Buddhist rules, in the summer, to avoid trampling on insects, monks are forbidden to go out for dozens of days, and they must live in quietude and retreat during the summer. When the ban is lifted they come out of the temple and go down the hill. People would prepare yogurt feast for them. That is how “Shoton” festival originated.
At Drepung Monastery, the huge Sakyamuni Thangka is over 500 years old which are 40 meters tall and 34 meters wide. Painted with gold powder, silver powder and coral powder, the huge Thangka is usually kept carefully in the temple only during the Shoton Festival can it be displayed on the platform.