Tibetans

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Day 1 Tashideleh!

15 Days of Prayer for

Tibetans

during the Tibetan New Year

Tashideleh!” “ Tashideleh!”

Today you can hear

“Tashideleh” in every region

and in every street in Tibetan

areas. “Tashideleh” means good

luck. Tibetan New Year is really

the most important festival for

Tibetan people. The word ‘Losar’ is

a Tibetan word for New Year. ‘LO’

means year and ‘SAR’ means new.

The celebration of Losar can be

traced back to the pre-Buddhist

period in Tibet. During the period

when Tibetans practised the Bon

religion, every

winter a spiritual

ceremony in which

people offered

large quantities

of incense to

appease the local

spirits, deities and

protectors was

held. This religious festival later

evolved into an annual Buddhist

festival which is believed to have

originated during the reign of

Pude Gungyal, the ninth King of

Tibet.

Long history comes with customs.

When Losar comes and the first

rooster crows, housewife Drolma

brings her buckets, Tibetan wine,

“grain hopper” and spices, and

rushes to be the first to fetch

water which is believed to bring

blessings to her.

Unfortunately, before she arrives

at the well, she already sees her

neighbor fetching water. It means

this year she could

not be the first.

Drolma, however,

still lights a fire

and offers tea and

water to worship

the Water God.

Then she takes the

“new water” and

goes home without

turning back. It is said that the

water will no longer bring them

any blessing if one turns back.

When Drolma returns home, she

fills the god’s cup with the “new

water” and pours the rest into a

water jar. She also needs some of

the water to prepare congee with

highland barley wine to show that

this is the beginning of the new

year.

In Tibet today, however, it is

not common to see women like

Drolma and her neighbors still

fetching water following the

traditional customs. Nowadays,

Tibetan houses have a tap water

supply. “Creative” housewives

sacrifice a “kada” (a white scarf

with the meaning of blessing) to

the tap, start smoke with mulberry

leaves, pray sincerely and then

turn on the water tap. The water

that comes out is also called “new

water” with blessings.

Pray that:

• The Tibetans will enjoy a

happy new year.

• Jesus will be the Lord of

the Tibetan New Year.

• Christian friends will

have opportunities to

celebrate with Tibetans,

and gain insight into the

culture and discover new

bridges to sharing the

good news.

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