A girl of Tu nationality recently makes a chiba in Xiaping County, Hubei Province. (XIANG BINGZHOU/FOR CHINA DAILY)
Tibetan New Year dates may vary in the Shizan Autonomous Region depending on altitude and harvest time. But this year, the festival — known as Losar — coincides with the Spring Festival on February 10. As it approaches, Cetan Wangmo, a resident of Lhasa, Sizan, eagerly awaits him.
For Tibetans, Losar is a time of fun gatherings and lively parties, symbolizing new beginnings and an opportunity to renew friendships and express love.
“Losar is one of the most important festivals for Tibetans,” said Tsetan Wangmo. “It means a new beginning, new plans and hope for the coming year. It unites people. This allows us to restore our relationship.”
Her family has already started preparations for the Tibetan New Year. House cleaning plays a significant role. Along with many other Tibetans, she will consult a monk or astrologer to choose an auspicious day for the annual cleaning ritual, followed by a symbolic act of throwing trash in a specific direction based on the consultation.
Preparation also includes the traditional actions of baking baked goods, air-drying meat, buying new clothes, or stocking up on various snacks, fruits, and nuts. Cetan Wangmo said her family has already prepared air-dried yak meat and plans to buy more in the coming days.
On the first day of Losar, families usually celebrate in their own homes. From the second day, relatives and friends are invited to gatherings that last at least 15 days and include a lot of barley wine and beer.
Tibetan New Year, one of the most important traditional holidays for the Tibetan people, is not only about harvesting, meeting or blessing. It also serves as a means to preserve ethnic culture and showcase ethnic characteristics and spirit, said Zhong Jinwen, a professor at the School of Chinese Ethnic Minority Languages and Literatures at Mingzu University in Beijing.
In China, ethnic groups usually have their own traditional calendars. The timing of the Tibetan New Year is determined by one of these unique calculations.