Tibetan New Year’s Day is the first among many festivals. It is the most ceremonious traditional festival, when all members of every household will reunite. Very likely with the Lunar New Year’s Day of Han ethnic group.
People in Lhasa begin preparing from December. From mid-December, every household will fry Kasei, a kind of snack made of butter and flour in many different shapes. Families will also prepare a wooden colored grain bucket called Chema filled with zanba, wheat grains, beans ginseng fruit, etc. Chema is also decorated with highland barley ears, cockscombs, as well as sun and moon cards, etc., and is dotted with butter pieces. The fried Kasei and Chema will be enshrined in front of the Buddha statue. Every household will clean their shrines and furniture. In addition, the walls of the cleaned kitchen or open space in front of the door will be coated with auspicious patterns using zanba powder. On the night of the 29th day of the 12th month under the Tibetan calendar, members of every family will gather to hold a “gnocchi feast”, which is called gout. The gnocchi is stuffed with things of different meaning including stone, wool, charcoal, pepper, etc.
Tibetan New Year features:
At dawn of the first day of the New Year, housewives will carry “auspicious water”back from the nearby river. After eating the porridge cooked with this water, and other prepared foods, each household will welcome the dawn.
Main forms of festivals:
1、 Tibetan people are decorate and dress up in their homes, drive away ghosts and evil spirits, offer prayers and hada.
2、 During the New Year period, a series of recreational activities are held in the urban and rural areas. They include Tibetan opera, Guo Zhuang Dance, tug of war, horse racing, archery, etc.
3、 With the prevalence of Buddhism, the New Year is full of dense religion atmosphere.
4、 Local people will burn cypress branches and pole the prayer flags on the flat roofs of their own houses to worship the deities, pray for good weather, peace and good luck.
5、 Worshiping the Buddha, people spontaneously went to Jokhang Monastery point the ghee lamp, trekking around the Barkhor Street turn.
6、 January 1 is a day of reunion. People will get up early and wear new clothes. First, they will worship the gods, and then greet each other while holding the grain bucket and the highland barley wine in their hands. Since January 2, people will visit friends and relatives.
Notificaitons on joining in the New Year:
1、 Some hotels are closed to celebrate the New Year. It is recommended to confirm the reservation in advance.
2、 At this time of winter, the climate is dry and cold, need to pay attention to water and keep warm and prevent catch cold.
3、 New Year's eve, every family held a closed-door exorcism ceremony, tourists are not advised to go out to visit local Tibatan’s on this day.
4、 There are many tourists in scenic spots such as Jokhang Monastery. Please take good care of your belongings.