Crowds gathered in the Indian hill town of Dharamsala on Sunday to mark 60 years since the failed Tibetan uprising that drove the Dalai Lama into exile.
Supporters of the 83-year-old spiritual leader prayed at the Buddhist temple, where the Dalai Lama established a government-in-exile in 1959.
Some had "Free Tibet" painted on their faces along with the colours and golden sun of the iconic flag.
A minute's silence was held to remember those killed when China brutally crushed the fledgling Tibetan revolt.
Similar rallies were held in New Delhi.
"We have come here to remind the new generation that China snatched our country," said one protester. "It was today on 10 March in 1959 that they snatched (our country). So (we) want to remind the new generation, that's why we got together and started this movement."
Tibet declared independence from China in the early 20th century but Beijing took back control in 1951, having sent in thousands of troops.
On the 10 March 1959, thousands of Tibetans surrounded the Dalai Lama’s palace in Lhasa, fearing a Chinese plot to kidnap or assassinate their leader.
Ten days later, Chinese troops opened fire, killing thousands.