Tibetan New Year Festival and Kongpo New Year Festival in Nyingchi
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Tibetan New Year Festival and Kongpo New Year Festival in Nyingchi

Update: Feb. 8th, 2013

Nyingchi Kongpo New Year Festival

Tibetan New Year Festival in Nyingchi

Tibetan New Year Festival which is held on January 1st in Tibetan Calendar is the grandest and the most solemn festival for Tibetans. In December in Tibetan Calendar, Tibetans will prepare for the Tibetan New Year Festival to pray for god luck, health and harvest in the coming year. They will cultivate barley, fry "Kaisai", brew barley wine, clean houses, place offerings, paint auspicious patterns, etc. The night of "Gutu" in Tibetan Calendar (the night of two days before Tibetan New Year Festival) is the start of Tibetan New Year Festival. At night, each family will eat "Gutu" (dough balls). When make "Gutu", the hostess will wrap something in dough balls, such as chili, wool, salt and charcoal, to test the luck in coming year. After eating "Gutu", Tibetans will hold a ceremony of dispelling evils. In the evening of this day, you can hearthe sound of firecrackers in Lhasa everywhere. On streets and alleys, there are various people holding torch to dispel evils. Comparing with this day, Tibetan New Year Festival' Eve is much quieter. Each family will place offerings in baldachine and decorate their living rooms.

On January 1st in Tibetan Calendar, Tibetans will welcome Tibetan New Year Festival in the beautiful sound of "Zhaga". In the morning, Tibetans will wear new clothes, sit on new cardian and eat the "auspicious rice" which is cooked with ginseng, ghee and sugar. Later, family members and neighbors will say "Tashi Delek" to each other with holding "Qiema" in their two hands to express best wishes. After noon, every family will have fun in their houses. From January 2nd, Tibetans will go out to visit relatives and friends. It will last for half of one month.

Kongpo New Year Festival in Nyingchi

Kongpo New Year Festival is the grandest and lively festival in Nyingchi Prefecture. Different from Tibetan New Year Festival, Kongpo New Year Festival is held on October 1st in Tibetan Calendar (about middle of November in solar calendar). According to legends, the Kongpo District was ever invaded. Young adults in Kongpo Tribe had to go to fight with enemy. In order to encourage these young adults to fight bravely, local Tibetans advanced New Year Festival to October 1st in Tibetan Calendar, and they lasted this custom to present. Kongpo New Year Festival fully shows the rich original sacrifice custom in Nyingchi Prefecture and national characteristics of Kongpo District. In general, Kongpo New Year Festival can be divided into "dispelling evils", "inviting dog to have dinner", "eating Jieda", "shouldering water" and "worshiping harvest goddess". From October 1st, in the daytime, men will ride horse, shoot, wrestle and lifting stone while women singing songs for them and playing some games. At night, Tibetans will light up campfire on grassland or fields and put a wooden bucket on side of the campfire. All people who come to dance need to take a bottle of barley wine and pour it into the bucket. Then, they will dance around the campfire. They dance and drink barley wine all through the night. The scene is very grand and hilarious.

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