Losar Tibetan New Year
Losar Tibetan New Year falls usually in February but could be anywhere between end of January and mid march. In ancient times when the peach tree blossom, it was considered as the starting of a new year. Since the systematization of the Tibetan calendar in 1027 A.D., the first day of the first month became fixed as the new year or Losar. On the Tibetan New Year’s Day, each home will open its door with prayers and fetch the first bucket of water of the year. People will greet each other with well-meaning wishes- “Tashi Delek”. Losar is a colorful week of activities including Tibetan drama, pilgrims making incense offerings and other folk activities such as wrestling, weight throwing, tug-of-war and horse-racing. Tibetans dressed in their finest crowding the streets. It brings together family from far & near for prayer and celebration. One day before, on the eve of losar, the families come together to eat Guthuk, which tanslates as Thukpa (noodle or dough soup) made from nine different ingredients including cheese and various grains. Before the guthuk, houses are cleaned, painted, cookies and crackers assortments are made. The families take hair-cut and clean themselves before the new year. Losar in Lhasa and main cities last more than a week and in rural areas, it may be celebrated for over 2 weeks.