Dinner of Tibetan New Year’ Eve – “Gutu”
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Dinner of Tibetan New Year’ Eve – “Gutu”

Update: Feb. 26th, 2013

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Dinner of Tibetan New Year' Eve – Brief Introduction of "Gutu"

Based on Tibetan folk custom, there is a ritual of dispelling evils held on December 29th in Tibetan Calendar. According to folk tradition, this ritual will be held after dinner. Tibetans named this dinner as "Gutu" which means dispelling evils on December 29th. This custom originated from folk religion which worships original totem. It is with ingrained effect among Tibetans.

In the annual ritual of dispelling evils, Tibetans will prepare a very interesting and special dinner – "Gutu"

In the past, due to the limitation of natural environment and economic condition, Tibetan dinner almost was gruel which was made up of barley and tsamba or noodle. This kind of dinner was named "Tuba", and the dinner on the day of dispelling evils named "Gutu" because it contains nine kinds of foods, such as cornmeal, pea, dough ball, ginseng, turnip, etc.

Dinner of Tibetan New Year' Eve – Different Meaning of Articles in "Gutu"

In order to make this special dinner full of happy atmosphere, Tibetans choose some articles with different meanings. For example, some of these articles mean luck, and some of them mean the personality of someone. These articles with special meanings will be wrapped in dough balls and cooked in pot.

Before eating "Gutu", each person will take a wet dough ball to rub every part of body and say "please take all my diseases, evil spirits and bad luck in the coming 12 months to the opposite bank of river". Then, they will put the dough balls with disease and bad luck into a pot with patterns of ghost.

After this ritual, the hostess in the family will serve "Gutu" for the family. When someone in the family eat the food in the shape of the sun, the moon, book or Buddha images, they will put down the bowl in their hands and take up wineglass to sing toast song and to express their auspicious wishes. If someone eats the food with wool, stone, kindling or dairy products in it, they will comment on it. They will praise his personality is as gentle as wool, his will is as solid as stone, his emotion is as enthusiastic as fire and his mind is as pure as yoghurt. If someone eats food with salt, chili, ceramic chip and charcoal in it, they will admonish the one that the hip should not be as heavy as salt when work, the attitude should not be as bitter and sarcastic as chili when communicate with others. Then, they will ask the person who ate these things to sing songs. If a young girl eats the food in the shape of a wild child, others will laugh and remind here to pay attention to be pure.

At last, everyone will pour left "Gutu" in their bowls into a pot with patterns of ghost and say "please take way all evils and bad luck in our family after filling you today. You should go to far places and do not look back". Then, the family will end this dinner in happy and festival atmosphere.

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