Tibetan New Year Festival in Ngari
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Tibetan New Year Festival in Ngari

Update: Mar. 4th, 2013

Tibetan New Year Festival

Tibetan New Year Festival is the grandest and most solemn festival in Tibet. Due to the differences of climate and geography, the time and way of spending Tibetan New Year Festival is different in different prefectures of Tibet.

In Ngari Prefecture of Tibet, the time and way of spending Tibetan New Year Festival is different from in Lhasa and Shigatse Prefecture.

In wide Ngari Prefecture of Tibet, there are groups living on agriculture and livestock farming. In pasturing area, the time and way of spending Tibetan New Year Festival is similar with time and way in Shigatse Prefecture. In Pulan and other farming areas in Ngari Prefecture, Tibetans will celebrate Tibetan New Year Festival on November 1st in Tibetan Calendar. It is much earlier than the New Year Festival in Shigatse Prefecture. Consequently, people named the New Year Festival which is celebrated in November in Ngari Prefecture as "Duolie Luosa" which means gluttonous New Year Festival in Tibetan Language for fun.

Tibetan New Year Festival in Ngari

On October 29th in Tibetan Calendar, Tibetans in Ngari Prefecture will eat "Gutu" as well. Before eating, the hostess in the family will drop a little "Gutu" around the kitchen stove, on window and door to worship the kitchen god and other gods.

On October 30th, both young boys and girls in the whole village will wear festival clothes. Based on the difference of gender, they will go out to circumambulate the village separately. When circumambulate, they will hold "Dada" (auspicious pestle) in hands and say words of auspicious wishes. Different from in Lhasa, Tibetans in Ngari Prefecture drive off evil spirits and dispel demo and disasters of the coming year on this day.

On December 1st in Tibetan Calendar, before the dawn of this day, Tibetans will eat the "Guandan" prepared by mother in the family in their beds. Then, the New Year starts. After holding the rite of eating "Qiema" and other traditional rituals, the younger generation should kowtow toward elder members of the family. The youngest one in the family will kowtow for the most times, and the eldest one in the family does not need to kowtow. On the first day of New Year, there is a horse race competition which is extraordinary interesting after the noon. After the competition, all riders and rooting section will sing songs, dance and have fun on the square of the village.

From the second day of New Year, each family will go out to visit relations and friends. After that, relatives and friends will visit each other to pay New Year calls. Different from in Lhasa, Shigatse and other prefectures of Tibet, the New Year Festival in Ngari only lasts about one week. The duration of Tibetan New Year Festival in Ngari is relatively short.

If you have Ngari tour in winter, you may come across the special Tibetan New Year Festival in Ngari Prefecture. It is a good opportunity to know more about Tibetan culture, folk custom and authentic daily life.

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