Tibetans rejoice at twin New Year celebration

 

 

 

People of Tibetan ethnic group dance to celebrate the Tibetan New Year, or Losar, in Lhasa,

capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 19, 2015.   Photos by Chogo

 

A dancer performs to celebrate the Tibetan New Year, or Losar, in Lhasa, capital of southwest

China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 19, 2015.   Photo by Liu Kun

 

A man of Tibetan ethnic group performs during a celebration of the Tibetan New Year, or Losar,

in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 19, 2015.  

Photo by Chogo

 

 

 

 

LHASA  |  2015-02-19 20:57:49

 

Tibetans rejoice

at twin New Year celebration

 

 

By Cao Kai, Lü Dong, Wang Jian, Li Hualing, Cao Ting, Pang Shuwei and  Zhao Yuhe

 

 

 

People of Tibetan ethnic group gather together to celebrate the Tibetan New Year, or Losar,

in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 19, 2015.

Photo by Chogo

 

 

For Tibetans, this Lunar New Year is doubly joyful as it coincides with the Tibetan year of the Wooden Ram, which also begins on Thursday of February 19.

At the landmark Potala Palace in the heart of the regional capital of Lhasa, thousands of Tibetans, along with tourists, were queuing for entrance since 1 a.m. to pray for a better year.

For many Tibetans, paying homage to Sakyamuni Buddha at the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple and the Ramogia Monastery is the priority on the first day of the New Year.

Cewang Lop, from Qamdo Prefecture, a thousand kilometers away from Lhasa, is among one of them.

Holding his one-year-old son in his arms, Cewang Lop, in a grey Tibetan-style sheepskin jacket, is moving slowly in the crowds.

“I wish the Buddha could bless my son health and happiness,” he said.

As of 11 a.m., about 30,000 people had visited the palace, said Zhaxi, head of the Potala Place administration office.

The joyous atmosphere is particularly evident in families with inter-marriage between Tibetans and Han Chinese, the majority ethnic group in China, where traditions from both cultures are honored in a coincidence that comes every three years.

For Wang Hui and his wife Namgyai Zhoigar, it is the first time they have celebrated New Year in their apartment in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

New curtains hang in the apartment, which the couple moved into in January from a ramshackle house. Dried yak meat and salted fish are scattered on the window sill. A big Chinese character “Happiness” graces the living room, where a traditional Tibetan carved table holds beer, soft drinks and sweets.

The New Year decorations are inspired by both Tibetan and Chinese traditions. Couplets are an indispensable part of the Chinese New Year decorations, and they are in Tibetan.

Namgyai Zhoigar is preparing a traditional Tibetan treat called gutu, the Tibetan counterpart of Chinese dumplings, made from ingredients such as ginseng and turnip. Eating gutu is also a game and some are stuffed with various “surprise” fillings including wool, salt or charcoal.

“Like Chinese dumplings, gutu hold good wishes for the New Year,” said Namgyai Zhoigar.

At the Karmardang Temple, three hours’ ride from Lhasa, monks join villagers and officials to prepare the gutu. Monks at the reclusive temple send out New Year wishes through China’s popular instant messaging app WeChat.

The WeChat fad is popular all over the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In Changjiangyuan Village, 21-year-old Sonam Zhoima said, “It is more respectful to send New Year wishes to the elderly in person. However, for friends and schoolmates, we prefer SMS or WeChat.”

In Quxu County near Lhasa, Painba celebrates the twin New Year with his daughter, who goes to school out of Tibet and is home for the winter vacation. At dinner, Painba keeps heaping food in his daughters bowl, while telling her to take good care of herself in school.

The gutu meal is often followed by an exorcism ritual. Each family must have an adult male who runs around the house with a torch expelling the evil spirits. Then the man runs to a crossroads, drops the torch and runs back home amid firecrackers without looking back, therefore the evil spirits are banished.

Family members gather together after the ritual, chat and drink barley wine, as they usher in a New Year with laughter and firecrackers.

 

 

 

 

Dancers perform to celebrate the Tibetan New Year, or Losar, in Lhasa, capital of southwest

China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 19, 2015.   Photo by Liu Kun

 

 

People line up in front of the Potala Palace on the first day of the Tibetan New Year, or Losar,

in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 19, 2015.  

Photo by Liu Kun

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO REPORT  |  2015-02-17 16:40:12

 

Photo taken on Feb. 17, 2015 shows porcelain sheepsheads for sale in Lhasa, capital of southwest

China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. Tibetan people were busy with purchasing goods for the coming

Tibetan New Year or Losar, which happens to fall on February 19, the same day with Chinese Lunar

New Year.   Photo by Chogo

 

Photo taken on February 17, 2015 shows butter sculptures for sale in Lhasa, capital of

southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.    Photoby Chogo

 

Photo taken on February 17, 2015 shows a Tibetan incense for sale in Lhasa, capital of southwest

China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.   Photo by Chogo

 

Photo taken on February 17, 2015 shows “Deka,” a kind of deep-fried dough sticks, for sale

in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.   Photo by Chogo 

 

Photo taken on February 17, 2015 shows nine cereals for making “Gutu,” a porridge usually

served on the New Year eve, in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.  

Photo by Chogo

 

A dealer sells butter cakes in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region,

on February 17, 2015.   Photo by Chogo

 

Residents purchase highland barley seedlings in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet

Autonomous Region, on February 17, 2015.   Photo b y Chogo 

 

Residents purchase “Qiema Box,” a traditional container symbolizing bumper harvest, in Lhasa,

capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 17, 2015.   Photo by Chogo

 

Residents purchase boxes to contain butter or dried meat in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s

Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 17, 2015.   Photo by Chogo

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO REPORT  |  2015-02-20 

 

GYANGZE  |  People of Tibetan ethnic group place prayer flags in Gyangze Township, southwest

China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 20, 2015. The New Year under the Tibetan calendar

coincided with the Spring Festival this year, which fell on February 19.   Photo by Soinam Norbu

 

GYANGZE  |  People of Tibetan ethnic group sprinkle Qiema to wish for bumper grain harvest

in Gyangze Township, southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 20, 2015.

Photo by Soinam Norbu

 

LHASA  |  Tourists select souvenirs in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous

Region, on February 20, 2015.   Photo by Chogo

 

LHASA  |  Tourists pose for pictures on the square in front of Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, capital

of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 20, 2015.   Photo by Chogo

 

LHASA  |  Tourists from south China’s Guangdong Province send pictures to their friends in Lhasa,

capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 20, 2015.   Photo by Chogo

 

LHASA  |  Tourists pose for pictures on the square in front of Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, capital

of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on February 20, 2015.   Photo by Chogo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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