happy losar!

18 Feb

Happy Tibetan New Year, or Losar. It’s now the year of the fire-pig. Losar started in Tibet in pre-Buddhist times as a festival where villagers offered large quantities of incence to appease the local spirits and protectors. It then evolved into the largest holiday in the Tibetan year.

Like the traditional Chinese calendar, Tibetan tradition follows a lunar cycle. As you may have noticed, it’s also Chinese New Year.

Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the celebration at Kadampa Center (where I study meditation and attend services) because I had to work today. I’m kind of sad that I missed these:

The custom that day is to make special noodles called guthuk. It is made of nine different ingredients including dried cheese and various grains. Also, dough balls are given out with various ingredients hidden in them such as chilies, salt, wool, rice and coal. The ingredients one finds hidden in one’s dough ball are supposed to be a lighthearted comment on one’s character. If a person finds chilies in their dough, it means they are talkative. If white-colored ingredients like salt, wool or rice are inside the dough it is considered a good sign. If a person finds coal in the dough it has much the same meaning as finding coal in one’s Christmas stocking; it means you have a “black heart”.

– borrowed from Wikipedia

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