Tamu Lhosar, Soman, Gyalpo Losar 2024/2025, Celebration in Nepal
Tamu Lhosar is a famous festival among the Gurung community in Nepal and Tibet. The word “Tamu” represents the 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 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, and Gurung’s men especially wear this dress. Bhangra is a white cloth like a shirt, which is 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 ornaments, including earrings 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 Gurung traditions still prevalent 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 has been celebrated in Nepal and Tibet for a long time. Tamu Lhoshar is also an opportunity to show courage, humor, singing, and dancing skills.
Festival in Nepal
Nepal has gardens, flowers, mountains, and more natural diversity. But we also have diversity in religion and tradition. Culture and tradition also depend on the geographical status where we live. People in the Terai region take Chhath and Gaura Parva as their principal festivals.
People in the hilly region celebrate Dashain and Tihar as their top festivals. Likewise, people in the Himalayan region celebrate Lhoshar as their main festival. Every festival has its importance. Festivals in Nepal possess both physical and mental happiness.
Thus, the people of Nepal gather and share their happiness with their loved ones. Each festival in Nepal consists of a beautiful historical background. Festival is the most exciting part of our lives. It is also said that there are more festivals in Nepal than days in 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 festivals is that they show their respective culture’s history 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 schedule, the Tamu Losar festival has now been one way to distract us from our daily routine, the exhausting life routine, and inspire us to remember the important things and moments in life. Among many festivals worldwide, Tamu Lhoshar is one of the essential festivals Thatrareed in all parts of Nepal and Tibet. Festival in Nepal is also a chance to exchange gifts among family members.
How is Tamu Lhosar celebrating?
Celebration of Tamu Lhosar
Lhosar 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. Gurung community organizes various programs on the occasion of Tamu Lhoshar. Earlier, Ganjasingh Gurung, also the director of the Tamu community, started to highlight the significance of Tamu Lhoshar among his community and all the other communities.
People gather together, sing different traditional songs, and perform traditional dances during this festival. The celebration of Tamu Lhoshar is for three days. However, the government gives a holiday only on the last day because of its importance.
Nowadays, people celebrate festivals modernly, replacing the traditional way of celebrating. In the past, people used to drink wine and alcohol all day, but nowadays, people enjoy luxurious parties and 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 where people gather and cherish this festival. In Tundikhel, a significant group organizes concerts and dancing programs on the special occasion of the Tamu Lhosar Festival. People also visit stupas in different places. Boudhanath and Swyambhunath stupa are significant places people especially visit during this festival. People wear their traditional clothes and express their culture among all.
Gurung people have extraordinary dancing and singing skills, making watching the audience joyous. 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 in their homes during Tamu Lhoshar. The leading food during this festival is Sel roti, shape, and meat. People also tend to have homemade wine and Tumba. Nowadays, people also do many social activities during 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 the traditional clothes of Gurung people to celebrate Tamu Lhoshar.
Tamu Lhoshar is observed among the ethnic neighborhoods of the entire Asia. Lhoshar has two different words: Lho, which means year, and Sar, which means year.
Since Lhoshar lasts for three days, the celebration of Tamu Lhoshar begins from the last two days of the previous year. The Tamang community also organizes Sports events, interactions, cultural rallies, and cultural shows in different places. Since tradition is at the peak of its extension nowadays, people are conducting a separate program to conserve this festival.
The scientific reason for celebrating Tamu Lhoshar is that it falls on 22nd of December, known as the longest night, and from the 23rd of December onward, the days begin to get longer. So, it is also celebrated as the change of time cycle. An exciting thing about Tamu Lhoshar is that people also worship nature today.
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 the traditional clothes of Gurung people to celebrate Tamu Lhoshar.
Tamu Lhoshar is observed among the ethnic neighborhoods of the entire Asia. Lhosar has 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 two days of the previous year.
The Tamang community also organizes Sports events, interactions, cultural rallies, and cultural shows in different places. Since tradition is at the peak of its extension nowadays, people are conducting a separate program to conserve this festival.
The scientific reason for celebrating Tamu Lhosar is that it falls on 22nd of December, known as the longest night, and from the 23rd of December onward, the days begin to get longer. So, it is also celebrated as the change of time cycle. An exciting thing about Tamu Lhoshar is that people also worship nature today.
History of Gurung and Tamu Lhosar
Gurung is one of the 59 indigenous nationalities residing in Nepal. Gurung people are mainly found on the foothills of Annapurna in the Himalayan region. Gurung means farmer in the Tibetan language. It is believed that the Gurung people are a wandering tribe who came across Tibet and Mustang.
Later, they settled in Tibet and Mustang and introduced Buddhism during the 7th century. Eventually, they started celebrating ceremonies and practices related to worship, birth, death, and marriage. Later, Lhoshar became one of the main festivals.
The Gurung community has divided their time into 12 years, also called Lohokor. In these 12 years, they worship any 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 conventional dances of the Gurung people include Ghatu and Chudka.
People also organize food stalls in different places that serve unique Gurung dishes. The people who are the prices on stupas and Gumbas are called Lamas, Klihbri, and Panju. Gurung people have a significant 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, their new year, they do not follow other calendars much.
Other different types of Lhosar
Lhoshar is the main festival of Buddhist people. Three types of Lhosar are celebrated in Nepal. All of the Lhoshar have their importance and significance. Some specific communities celebrate every kind of sock.
Sonam Lhosar is also a new year for the Buddhist community. The Tamang people of Nepal celebrate this festival. About 8% of the total population in Nepal belongs to the Tamang community. Sonam Lhoshar is a pretty big festival. Tamang people belonged to the ancient tribe called Yombo.
Tamang comprises two worlds: Ta, which means Horse, and Mang, which means Rider. Tamang is considered to be set as, during ancient times, primarily Tamang people were involved 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 comprises 32 bamboo sticks and a goat’s skin covering 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 regularly clean their houses and shops. People visit Gumbas and the stupa on the occasion of Sonam Lhosar.
Selo is a traditional dance of the Tamang people performed on Sonam Lhosar. Selo dance is also served in the most formal programs in Nepal. The classic style of playing Damphu and dancing Selo is 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 famous as one of the three Lhoshar, and people of the Sherpa community celebrate this festival. This festival is mainly famous among the people in the Everest and Annapurna regions 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 a special soup on those two days, which is called Guntung. This soup includes many ingredients: rice, sweet potatoes, wheat, Yak cheese, green peppers, and radishes. Swyambhunath Stupa is a famous stupa and the central one to visit during Gyalpo Lhosar.
Since most people in the Everest region celebrate this festival, Gyalpo Lhosar has also been one of the tourist attractions. Gyalpo Lhosar fell in February, right after Sonam Lhosar. People perform a dance ceremony called Cham, which is performed near Boudhnath Stupa.
One ancient belief that Sherpa followed during Gyalpo Lhoshar is keeping their house, mainly the kitchen, clean. During the evening of Gyalpo Lhosar, people gather 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 2024/2025
Tamu Lhoshar is the biggest festival of Gurung’s community; people in the Himalayan region celebrate this festival. As this region falls in 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. This year, 2024, Tamu Lhosar falls on Wednesday, 30th December. People gather in shared houses or stupas to sing and dance during Tamu Lhoshar. Also, 2024 is a period of a global pandemic.
We must celebrate Tamu Lhosar by being extra careful. People also must follow the guidelines set by the government. While celebrating festivals, people must also maintain social distancing.
Happy Tamu Lhosar
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