07/06/2011 10:37 am ET Updated Sep 05, 2011

Dalai Lama Birthday: Indian Celebrations Honor The Exiled Spiritual Leader (PHOTOS)

The Dalai Lama may currently be in Washington, but that didn't stop exiled Tibetans in India from celebrating their spiritual leader's 76th birthday in truly spectacular fashion.

As is reporting, festivities in Dharamshala -- where the Dalai Lama has lived since fleeing Tibet after a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule -- included traditional song and dance performances, as well as traditional Tibetan games and sports, including an archery competition, tug-of-war matches and arm wresting contests.

The Dalai Lama's U.S. visit comprises an 11-day Buddhist ritual, known as a kalachakra, that organizers expect will draw upward of 10,000 followers a day from America, Asia and Europe.

Not surprisingly, the spiritual leader's birthday has been met with some controversy. As the AP reports, Nepalese authorities prevented exiled Tibetans from celebrating the Dalai Lama's birthday over concerns that gatherings will turn anti-Chinese.

View photos of the celebrations here:

Dalai Lama's Birthday