Nepal information
Nepal's people
Nepal People
The Sherpa communties' New Year festival
The Sherpa communities
Lhosar , the New Year festival of the Sherpa communities
Lhosar The Sherpa communities celebrate Lhosar, the greatest festival of Sherpas and other people belonging to Tibeto-Burmese communities. There are altogether 250,000 Sherpas scattered in different countries like Bhutan, India, Tibet, Nepal and other countries. In 2002 the Sherpas are celebrating the Tibetan New Year 2129 which is also called Water Horse Year. The tradition to celebrate Lhosar dates back to the time of Tibetan King Nagshi Chambo. In 2002 the Year of Serpant turned into the Year of Water Horse.

According to the Chinese astrological system there exists a cycle of twelve years named after different animals such as mouse, bull/cow, tiger, rabbit/cat, dragon/divine eagle, serpent, water horse, sheep, monkey, hen, dog and pig.
The Tibetan Buddhist or the Tibeto-Burmease communities celebrate three types of Lhosar - Tola (Tamu), Sonam and Gyalbo Lhosar. While the Tamu Lhosar is celebrated by the Gurungs, Sonam Lhosar is celebrated a of the Gyalbo Lhosar mainly by the peasant communities.

The festival has a single purpose: welcome the new year. It is also celebrated in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and China, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan and other East Asian countries.

There is a need for some research so that the exact date and time of the festival can be found out. Bhairab dances were performed depicting the removing of bad spirits in the year gone by. The Chayama dance has a religious symbol, which means to destroy and wash away the ill character of yesterdays and welcoming the good fortune of all. The pujas and all the dances were not performed for one single person but for all humanity.

Boudhanath In Nepal, thousands of Sherpa and also the Tibetan refugees are bracing up for the festival of Chhimar, Khapsa and Dichhyang. In Boudhanath , Sherpa men and women, dressed in their traditional, and colourful costumes, called bakhhu, are gathering at Sherpa monastery to celebrate their New Year festival, 'Lhosar'. Lhosar is one of the greatest festivals celebrated by welcoming good days ahead and washing away the ill omens of yesterday.

In the run-up to the festival, they clean up their houses as they bid adieu to the miseries of the past year. All this to welcome happier days ahead. And they say to each other - "Tashi Delek!" They call the upcoming Lhosar or the New Year - Gyalbo Lho-Sar, which literally means kingly new year

As Lhosar comes right on their doors, new Buddhist prayer flags and Lungtas are being put up in the houses, stupas and monasteries. There are still around 32,000 Tibetan refugees living in Nepal. The 15-day long celebrations reach its peak when the Sherpas, the Tamangs and the Tibetan communities gather at their houses and monasteries. They perform pujas during the festival, which is basically the time to eat delicacies and wear new clothes. Visiting friends and relatives, they receive blessings from elders and extend their best wishes to all. They literally forget everything in the world, such as monetary and other business transactions, except their near and dear ones.

On the first day of Lhosar, Sherpas stay at home and celebrate with their family members. It is believed that it is not good to go out of the house on the first day. On the second day Sherpa people start visiting friends and relatives' houses and greet each other 'Tashi delek'. Thousands of Sherpas gather at the Sherpa monastery and exchanged their hearty new year wishes, dancing, drinking and merry making the pure Sherpa way. They exchange their best wishes with all Sherpa families residing within the valley. Everyone entering the monastery is welcomed by traditional ghee tea and a few steps ahead, Sherpas are happy sprinkling chimar (mixture of wheat flour, sugar and ghee) on their shoulders, which mean to welcome the good days ahead.

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