UPDATED: Losar, the Tibetan New Year, has finally arrived after months of preparation. And it is the New Year’s morning; time to enjoy juicy yak-meat dumplings and milk tea, and pay respect to others, all after spiritual offerings, of course.
When I was a girl, my family would send us kids to visit elders and relatives in the village early in the morning of the new day. The adults would visit their parents if they weren’t living under the same roof. My father, for example, always visited his mother at my uncle’s house. With gifts in hand, making a special trip to the families who lost a loved one that year was also reserved for the grown-ups. All occurred before dawn while the sky still resisted daylight.
I remember Grandma or Mother would put together a gift package with a big piece or two of cooked meat, deep-fried goodies, fruits, and steamed dumplings stacked seven-high and wrapped up tight atop a loaf of Rebgong bread. And I will never forget how I was dressed to the nines in my nicest traditional robe, coral jewelry, hair braided in Tibetan style with ornaments carefully placed on my back. It was quite a ceremony to deliver this parcel to the respected elders (and show off my splendid clothes).
This year my adorable nieces, along with my sister and brother-in-law, did the same. Bedecked in coral necklaces, their formal robes belted with intricate ornaments of spiral sliver, framing red corals in a swirly row, they visited my younger brother’s home. Splendid. They brought a fresh spark of joy to our new day.