While a house requires strong pillars to hold its structures one might say, a culture is formed based upon its long-standing traditions, beliefs, art, and customs. Festivals and rituals are windows into rich traditions of faraway lands.
My journey home to the Tibetan plateau for 2015 Losar, Tibetan New Year, was a renewal of my own values and our exotic culture. This year the New Year, the year of the monkey, falls on February 8th/9th. I’m sharing with you today a “roundup” of my experiences and moments in pictures during the most celebrated holiday in Tibetan culture—Losar ལོ་གསར.
1. Losar Preparation: Amdo Bread
It might come as a surprise to learn that crunchy, wholesome bread is a staple of Tibetan cuisine. While many societies rely on commercial products today, Tibetan mothers and sisters still practice baking in their kitchens on a daily basis. For special occasions like Losar, they embrace the centuries-old method of earth baking. A loaf of bread often boasts a hundred-year-old fermentation—the way it has been baked since a time before active dry yeast was invented. Experience a living history of bread-making.
2. Losar ལོ་གསར Preparation: Visual Feast
During Losar preparation, you only need to take a five-minute walk to learn much about the festival and to perceive a variety of cultural expressions. Tibetan families display visual feasts that are almost surreal to look at. Behold and marvel at the ambiance.
3. Losar Eve: Spiritual Offerings
Spiritual offerings are a big part of wrapping up the year and welcoming an auspicious new year. Have you seen an image of a deity or how Tibetans honor the mountain gods? Here is your chance to experience the ancient rituals.
4. Losar Morning Rituals
What do Tibetans do on Losar morning? From dressing up in vibrant and colorful robes to paying respect to elders with gifts in hand… learn how Tibetans celebrate Losar.
5. Losar Festive Moments
A variety of visual expressions from Losar will offer a sense of celebration and tradition for your enjoyment. May it be gathering for tea, steamy yak meat dumplings, butter sculpture, altar ornaments, Bön practitioners performing dances, and something terribly adorable that you cannot miss. Experience Losar festival moments that you will not forget anytime soon.
Beautiful and so celebratory. Thank you Jolma.
Hi Jolma! I’m here enjoying your pictures and stories.
Have a happy Losar this year!