Location: Lhasa, Tibet
Theme: the Tibetan Water Year of the Dragon
February 22, 2012 is the first day of Tibetan calendar, water dragon New Year. Tibetan New Year is the most important traditional Tibetan festivals. When the New Year is coming, Tibetans will do a lot of preparatory work, such as haircut, bath, or expressed your mood is extreme sadness and grief.
Tibetan New Year is a common traditional festival for the Tibetan people. On this day, all the monks and laity celebrate the annual Spring Festival.
Tibetan New Year is derived according to the Tibetan calendar. Started from the January 1, Tibetan calendar, last for 15 days. As all of the Tibetans believe in Buddhism, the festival is always filled with a strong religious atmosphere, and is really a national holiday to entertain both the gods and the believers.
It is said that Tibetans regarded the day when the wheat is ripe as the day of New Year.
The preparatory work is generally started from the early December of the previous year. In addition to purchase goods for the New Year, each household must make a named “Qiema” grain measurement, that is place fried grain and roasted barley flour with butter around wooden box painted color pattern, plugging with barley spike and butter plastic flower above.
When holidays approached, men are busy with cleaning the courtyard, while women elaborate Kasai, a kind of fried pasta fried with butter, divided into the various shapes: ear-shaped, butterfly-shaped, linear, square, round, etc, coated with pigments, and wrapped in sugar.
According to legend, the Tibetan calendar began about 100 BC.
Tibetan calendar can date back over 970 years of history, and basically in the same month with the Spring Festival, only different in a few days. So the monks of Kumbum Monastery celebrate the Tibetan New Year and the Chinese New Year together.
Entered the December of lunar calendar, every household start prepares New Year’s goods. From December 28, people clean the house, village walks, and ridge angle.
At home, women should prepare the morning matches well for the New Year’s morning, to wish everything will be ok in the coming New Year.
There are some areas pasting couplets and New Year painting on the door of the houses, mainly some blessing words and auspicious objects for Tibetans, such as lion, dragon, tiger, etc.