Tamu Lhosar is a festival that is popular among the Gurung community in Nepal and Tibet. The word “Tamu” represents to Gurung people. People of Nepal and Tibet celebrate this great joyous festival. Tamu Lhoshar is the occasion of the New Year among this community. This festival generally falls during the month of Poush in the Hindu calendar and during the month of December in the English calendar. Nepal government also gives public holidays during Tamu Lhoshar. During this festival, all Gurung people wear Gurung attire and perform their cultural dance.
The traditional clothes of Gurung are Bhangra, especially Gurung men wear this dress. Bhangra is a white cloth like a shirt, which tight across the chest. They also wear a Kachhad, like a short sarong or kilt. On the other hand, Gurung women wear a blouse and a long skirt. Younger Gurung girls wear Ghalek and gunyo-cholo. They wear large gold ornament including earing and their traditional style stone necklace. Gurung people cook different types of food during the special occasion of Tamu Lhoshar. The Gurung community is one of the oldest cultures in Nepal. Rodhighar, Chudka, Sorathi, Ghantu, and Dhori are the Gurung tradition that is still prevalence in Nepal.
The traditional food of Gurung includes Sel roti and Khapse (made of rice bread), Achar (Pickle), Meat, homemade rice Beer (tonbaa), and Wine during Tamu Lhoshar. People also sing their traditional Gurung song “Salaijo and Kauda”. During Tamu Lhoshar people gather around to dance and sing. Tamu Lhoshar is being celebrated in Nepal and Tibet for a long time. Tamu Lhoshar is also an opportunity of showing valor, humor, singing, and dancing skills.
Festival in Nepal
Nepal is known as the land of gardens, flowers, mountains, and more natural diversity. But we also have diversity in religion and tradition. The culture and tradition also depend upon the geographical status where we live in. as people living in the Terai region take Chhath and Gaura Parva as their main festivals. People living in the hilly region celebrate Dashain and Tihar as their main festivals. Likewise, people living in the Himalayan region celebrate Lhoshar as their main festival. Each and every festival have their own importance. Festival in Nepal, possess both physical and mental happiness.
Thus people of Nepal gather and share their happiness with their close ones. Each festival in Nepal consists of beautiful historical background. Festival is the most exciting part of our lives. It is also said that there is more festival in Nepal then there are more days on a year, no wonder Nepal is called the land of festivals. Every other day is the day of the festival in every country. The best part of all the festival is they show the history of their respective culture and teach us the importance of life. Festival adds excitement and enjoyment to our lives. Festival is one of the ways to show one’s happiness and excitement.
During everyone’s busy seclude Tamu Losar festival has now been one of the ways to give us a distraction from our day to day, the exhausting routine of life, and give us some inspiration to remember the important things and moments in life. Among many festivals in the world, Tamu Lhoshar is one of the important festivals which is celebrated in all parts of Nepal and Tibet. Festival in Nepal is also a chance to exchange gifts among family members.
How is Tamu Lhosar is celebrating?
celebration of Tamu Lhosar
Losar is one of the greatest festivals of the Gurung community. In Nepal, the People of the Himalayan region and the Terai region celebrate Tamu Lhosar. Gurungs community organize various programs on the occasion of Tamu Lhoshar. Earlier Ganjasingh Gurung, who is also the director of the Tamu community, started to highlight the significance of Tamu Lhoshar among his community and all the other community. People gather together and sing different traditional songs and perform their traditional dances during this festival. The celebration of Tamu Lhoshar is for three days, however, the government gives holiday only on the last day, because of its importance.
Nowadays, people celebrate festivals in a modern way replacing the traditional way of celebration. In the past, people used to drink wine and alcohol for the whole day, but nowadays people enjoy luxurious parties, dance to modern songs. Especially, in the major cities of Nepal like Kathmandu and Pokhara, People organize parties and enjoy this in the cultural process.
Tundikhel, the heart of Kathmandu city, is the major place, where people gather and cherish this festival. In Tundikhel, a major group of people organizes concerts and dancing programs on the special occasion of Tamu Lhosar Festival. People also visit a stupa in different places. Boudhanath stupa and Swyambhunath stupa are the major places where people specially visit during this festival. People wear their traditional clothes and express their culture among all.
Gurung people comprise of special dancing and singing skill, which is really joyous to watch to the audience. The traditional songs also show the local lifestyle of the people. Tamu Lhoshar is also an occasion where family members meet and share their happiness and joy.
Enjoy the party of Losar
People also host different parties and feast on their home on the occasion of Tamu Lhoshar. The main food during this festival is Sel roti, khapse, and meat. People also tend to have homemade wine and Tumba. Now a day’s people also do many social activities on the day.
People also visit different Buddhist stupas and take blessings from the monks. They celebrate this festival by feasting and also exchanging gifts. People also exchange wishes and goodwill with their near and dear ones. Nowadays people from other communities or cultures also wear traditional clothes of Gurung people to celebrate Tamu Lhoshar. Tamu Lhoshar is celebrated among the ethnic community of entire Asia. The word Lhoshar is made up of two different words Lho means year and Sar means year.
Since Lhoshar lasts for three days the celebration of Tamu Lhoshar begins from the last 2 days of the previous year. In different places, the Tamang community also organize different Sports events, interaction, cultural rallies, and cultural shows. Since nowadays tradition is at the peak of its extension, people conduct a different program to conserve this festival. The scientific reason for celebrating Tamu Lhoshar is that it falls on 22nd December which is known as the longest night and from 23rd December onward the days begin to get longer. So it is also celebrated as the change of time cycle. An interesting thing about Tamu Lhoshar is that people also worship nature on this day.
Visit Buddhist Stupa
People also visit different Buddhist stupas and take blessings from the monks. People celebrate this festival by feasting and also exchanging gifts. They also exchange wishes and goodwill with their near and dear ones. Nowadays people from other communities or cultures also wear traditional clothes of Gurung people to celebrate Tamu Lhoshar. Tamu Lhoshar is celebrated among the ethnic community of entire Asia. The word Lhosar is made up of two different words Lho means year and Sar means year. Since Lhoshar lasts for three days the celebration of Tamu Lhoshar begins from the last 2 days of the previous year.
In different places, the Tamang community also organize different Sports events, interaction, cultural rallies, and cultural shows. Since nowadays tradition is at the peak of its extension, people conduct a different program to conserve this festival. The scientific reason for celebrating Tamu Lhosar is that it falls on 22nd December which is known as the longest night and from 23rd December onward the days begin to get longer. So it is also celebrated as the change of time cycle. An interesting thing about Tamu Lhoshar is that people also worship nature on this day.
History of Gurung and Tamu Lhosar
Among 59 indigenous nationalities residing in Nepal Gurung are one of them. Mainly Gurung people are found on the foothills of Annapurna in the Himalayan region. Gurung means farmer in the Tibetan language. It is believed that the Gurung people a wandering tribe who came across Tibet and mustang. Later they settled on Tibet and mustang and introduce Buddhism during the 7th century. Eventually, they started celebrating things like ceremonies and practices related to worship, birth, death, and marriage. Later Lhoshar has become one of the main festivals.
The Gurung community has divided their time into 12 years which is also called Lohokor. In these 12 years, they worship anyone animal or a bird a year. Los–garuda, serpent, horse, sheep, monkey, bird, dog, deer, mouse, cow, tiger, and cat are the 12 animals that Gurung people worship on the occasion of Tamu Lhoshar. The traditional music of the Gurung community is Rodhi. Besides these other, famous and traditional dances of Gurung people include Ghatu and Chudka.
People also organize food stalls in different places that serve special Gurung dishes. The people who are the pries on stupas and Gumbas are called Lamas, Klihbri, and Panju. Gurung people have a great contribution to the culture and tradition of Nepal. People celebrate Tamu Lhoshar by going on a picnic and greeting one another. People also organize Ghatu and Chudka dance competitions in different places. Tamu Lhoshar has been celebrating in Nepal for a very long time. As Gurung people celebrate Tamu Lhoshar which is their new year, they do not much follow other calendars.
Other different types of Lhosar
As Lhoshar is the main festival of Buddhist people. There are three types of Lhosar that celebrating in Nepal. All of the Lhoshar have their own importance and significance. Each type of Lhoshar is celebrated by some specific community.
Sonam Lhosar is also a new year of the Buddhism community. This festival is celebrated by the Tamang people of Nepal. About 8% of the total population in Nepal belongs to the Tamang community Sonam Lhoshar is a pretty big festival. Tamang people belong to the ancient tribe who was called Yombo. The word Tamang is made up of two worlds Ta which means Horse and Mang means Rider. The name Tamang is considered to be set as during ancient times mostly Tamang people used to involve in horse-trading. Tamang people are also very rich in culture and tradition. They have their own identity and own culture.
One of the famous things about Tamang is Damphu. Damphu is a drum-like small musical instrument. This instrument is made up of 32 bamboo sticks and a goat’s skin to cover one of the sides. According to the Nepali calendar, Sonam Lhoshar falls during the month of Magh and according to the English calendar, this festival falls in January or February. During this festival, Tamang people clean their houses and shops as per their tradition. People visit Gumbas and the stupa on the occasion of Sonam Lhosar.
Selo is a traditional dance of Tamang people which they perform on Sonam Lhosar. Selo dance is also performed in the most formal programs in Nepal. The traditional style of playing Damphu and dancing Selo is also known as Tamang Selo. Sonam Lhosar is also celebrated to spread positives and destroy negative energy from the nation. People decorate their houses with lights and flags all over.
Gyalpo Lhoshar is also popular as one of the three Lhoshar and people of the Sherpa community celebrate this festival. Mainly, this festival is popular among the people in the Everest and Annapurna region of Nepal as well as other countries of Asia. People cook delicious food such as khapse, cakes, cookies, candies, bread, and fruits during Gyalpo Lhosar. They drink special soup on those two days which is called Guntung. This soup includes many ingredients such as eating rice, sweet potatoes, wheat, Yak cheese, green peppers, and radishes. Swyambhunath Stupa is a famous and the main stupa to visit during Gyalpo Lhosar.
Since most people in the Everest region celebrate this festival, Gyalpo Lhosar has also been one of the attractions of tourists. Gyalpo Lhosar falls in the month of February right after Sonam Lhosar. People perform a dance ceremony which they call Cham and is performing near Boudhnath Stupa.
One of the ancient beliefs that Sherpa follow during Gyalpo Lhoshar is keeping their house, mainly the kitchen clean. During the evening of Gyalpo Lhosar people gather together in a stupa or any other place for the traditional greeting. People wish for the joy, happiness, and essence of Losar is still the same for everyone in their family. People celebrate Gyalpo Lhosar by singing or dancing to traditional Sherpa songs, eating, and drinking.
Tamu Lhosar in 2020
Tamu Lhoshar is the biggest festival of Gurung’s community, People in the Himalayan region celebrates this festival. As this region falls on the cold places of the Himalayan region (Lang tang and foothills of the Annapurna region), people tend to celebrate Tamu Lhoshar by eating warm food and wearing traditional and warm clothes.
The government of Nepal gives a public holiday on the occasion of Tamu Lhosar. In this year 2020, Tamu Lhosar falls on 30th December, Wednesday. People gather in public houses or stupas to sing and dance during Tamu Lhoshar. Also, 2020 is a period of a global pandemic. We must celebrate Tamu Lhosar by being extra careful. People also must follow the guideline set by the government. While celebrating festivals people also must maintain social distancing.
Happy Tamu Lhosar