Day 5 Auspicious offerings 15 Days of Prayer for Tibetans during the Tibetan New Year the top of the basket with butter, symbolising the prosperity of livestock. Finally, Lhamo stuck in some ears of barley and highland barley to make the five crops basket more beautiful. In the early morning of the New Year, Lhamo’s family members gathered together and sat according to the order of seniority. Lhamo held the Chemar and came respectively to the front of her elders one by one. Each family member would say “Tashideleh!” to New Year is the busiest time of year. Tibetans prepare different food to eat and clothes to wear. They also prepare decorations of various sorts, depending on their wealth. Lhamo planted some grain seed last year. She used what was harvested from that for decoration this year, and as a way of asking for blessing of a good harvest in the coming year. Lamb’s heads are not easy to buy, especially when New Year is coming as the demand is high. In the Tibetan language, the pronunciation of “lamb’s head” is very close to “Losar”. Therefore Tibetans like to decorate using lambs’ heads during New Year. Fortunately, Lhamo had quite a good relationship with the butcher, and had already asked him to reserve one for her. As it is a festival, Lhamo colored the lamb’s head with oil, and stuck some sun and moonshaped graphics on it. A lamb’s head can be used as a decoration, or to show celebration. There is a custom in Lhamo’s family: They must cook lamb meat to eat, symbolising good fortune. Nonetheless, for Lhamo the most time-consuming work is to prepare the Chemar, which is given a place of honor in the home. Chemar is a type of sacrifice that is used in all celebrations, such as moving house and weddings. When Lhamo was preparing for the Chemar, she filled one side of a basket with barley grain and fried barley grain, and filled the other side with tsamba (Tibetan barley flour meal). This grain is the symbol of good harvest. She covered Pray that: • The Tibetans will know Jesus is the source of all kinds of blessings. • The Tibetans will know Jesus is their protection. • The Tibetans will receive Christ’s goodness and peace. Lhamo. They took some grain from the basket and threw it to the sky. This is a sacrifice to the goddesses. They then wished everyone peace and happiness throughout the year. Then they took some grain to eat. It symbolised celebrating the good harvest in the previous year and prayer for abundant harvest of all food crops in the coming year.
Day 6 Happy New Year Family Time 15 Days of Prayer for Tibetans during the Tibetan New Year shape of the sun and the moon, symbolising his health and fortune for the coming year. His wife got the one with a little square cushion, representative of the coming days being easy for her. His first daughter got a white lamb’s fleece, symbolising her generosity and gentleness. As for his younger daughter, she got ceramics which symbolises her laziness. It is a custom. It is a game. Family members praise and tease each other. On New Year’s Eve night, the family becomes lively. Tibetans attach huge importance to their family. This is reflected even more during New Year days. To Losang’s family, Losar is a huge annual family gathering. Everyone comes back in time to spend their new year together, even if they are studying far away, or working out of town. The Festive Dinner is the highlight of the New Year Festival. On New Year’s Eve in the Tibetan calendar, Losang’s family joins together to eat “Ku-ta”. “Ku-ta” is made of nine ingredients including, carrots, ginseng fruit, pea, flour, white cabbage. Eating Ku-ta symbolizes getting rid of the old and welcoming the new, and also expelling the bad luck of the previous year, and all demons. On other days, cooking Ku-ta is his wife’s job but for the New Year Ku-ta, Losang and his wife prepare it together. He does so because the way of doing this New Year’s Ku-ta is different from normal days. They make some shapes such as moon and sun using flour, and other noodles in ordinary shapes, just a bit larger. These noodles encircle an array of symbols which will represent the fortunes and conduct of the respective persons joining the meal. Ku-ta will be randomly distributed in each bowl. This year, Losang’s elder son got the noodle with the Pray that: As for the following days, Losang and his family join different celebrations in the village, and visit their relatives. After all, Tibetan New Year is a season in which people celebrate and enjoy their family time together. • The Tibetans will enjoy their family life. • God will use the Tibetans’ family time as a time to share His love and mercy. • Christians will bring His Good News to every family.