My unique Tibetan cultural celebration

a woman and a man putting food on their plates- cultural celebrations

Each culture has its own way of welcoming the New Year. Losar (lo-gsar) is the Tibetan Buddhist cultural celebration that celebrates the New Year.

The Tibetan Calendar is based on Lunar calendar. Normally, we depend on our local Monastery to let us know about the days.

I think even if all the Tibetans celebrate this cultural celebration, but it is slightly different from place to place. I do not know how other parts of Tibet celebrate this cultural celebration, but in my village, we celebrate it for 15 days.

Before the Losar, the villagers probably spend about a month to prepare for it; deep cleaning the entire house, washing all the washable things, purchasing furniture and other decorations to decorate the house, especially the living room, and starting purchasing food; meat, candies, vegetables, grains, drinks, seeds, and fruits. Also, everyone in the family gets new clothing. The villagers make sure that they have everything for the 15 days, so that they do not need to go shopping during the Losar.

The villagers also pick people to organize dance groups and teach them dance, and some other villagers organize activities to entertain the village for the 15 days.

Sometimes, couples get married during the Losar time. The entire village helps the couple/family to prepare for the wedding. It is also fun to get married during the Losar, because at the Losar time all the people from far away return home and remote friends and relatives to come to our village. During those 15 days, everyone has time to have fun and get together.

Before a few days from the Losar, the villagers take turns to help each other to make hundreds of fried breads with various shapes. Even if not a lot of people like to eat the fried bread during the Losar, but after the Losar fried bread is a handy snack to have.

Everyone in the village, decorate their shrine and make a lot of offerings. Every day, we burn butter lamps and pray.

Night before the Losar, villagers decorate their living room tables with treats, fruit, fried bread, raw beef, boiled beef and pork. When guests come to visit we have everything there for them.

Among 15 days of Losar, the very first day is the most important day. People fetch water for the day to drink, we take it as the holy water. In the very early morning, every house burns juniper to pray for everything.  After breakfast, the village men dress up in their traditional clothings, ride horses and go to the ‘Mountain God’ to make offerings.

When the village men leave the village to the mountains, everyone in the village comes out to watch them, because everyone dresses up to the best with expensive and traditional clothing and jewelry.  

For the other days, villagers cook the best meals to enjoy with their families, relatives and friends. In the afternoons, all the villagers get together to watch young people to dance and play games.

This cultural celebration is the most popular in Tibet and enjoyable time of the year for Tibetans.

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