Losar Zang! It’s Tibetan New Year these days (15 days!) and as usual, this year things have been crazy. Lots of ups and downs, but that’s always the case. Here’s a little bit about what we’ve been doing for Losar this year.
This year, since we’re staying with sister in law, we stayed in county for New Year’s Eve. We ate snacks and enjoyed the Tibetan New Year performances on TV. Unfortunately for SIL, she had to go to the hospital to take care of one of her husband’s relatives, so after they left we just went to bed. Had a lot of fun in my ladies WeChat groups though!
The next day we were off to the village for the first day of Losar. On this day, the sons in a family will come home with their families. Sister in law and her family also usually comes on the first day, because let’s face it, the foreign Nama, daughter in law, is of no real practical use. Asking brother’s wife to do everything is asking a lot, so Sister D goes to help.
But actually K’s family is really relaxed. I vowed to be of more use this year, and did my best to follow Brother’s wife around and learn how to do things and help her as much as I could. actually there wasn’t much for any of us to do, even on our busy day, so I spent time taking photos and soaking up the atmosphere.
In the last few years, the traditional Losar trees, filled with dried fruits and candies, are slowly being replaced by plastic trees that look remarkably familiar to me.
Then the family decided that several people wanted to go to Lhasa. Leave it to Tibetans to plan things like journeys that take 24 hours by train at the last minute. Oh well! That meant that K’s parents and a bunch of sisters, and Yak Yak, are gone for about three weeks! The holiday got exponentially better once they left for some reason. Not sure why.
We went back to the village to experience some of the other New Year traditions. There is one where each family member rubs some roasted barley flower and water on their face, arms and hands. This is to remove any sickness, discomfort or bad things from your body. Then they donate it along with some fruits, vegetables and small change to a figure they create, also made from the roasted barley flour and water, to eventually be tossed somewhere outside the village, symbolizing all the bad things being removed from the village at the beginning of the new year.
I had the good chance to go to the place where where they were preparing everything at take some photographs. There are some really talented people in this village.
Now the main festival activities are over, and we are enjoying peace (sometimes) in the county. This morning A got a very long phone call from Yak Yak and other aunts and relatives who are enjoying their pilgrimage to Lhasa. We hope they have a wonderful time!