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08:45 Feb 25 2009

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English>>Tibet Online
Tibetans celebrate 50th New Year Festival after Democratic Reform
08:44, February 25, 2009  

Like the 22-year-old Tibetan herdsman Tashi, Tibetans across China are celebrating the 50th Tibetan new year after the Democratic Reform with their old traditions.

Tashi arrived in Lhasa two days ahead of the new year, which starts on Feb. 25 this year, for the annual Lamaism service called Vajra Dance in Tsurpu Monastery.

"I came here on behalf of my whole family with nine family members," Tashi said. He drove a motorcycle for two hours from the grasslands in Damxung, 70 kilometers away from Lhasa.

"My parents told me that I will have a lucky year if I watch the Vajra Dance at the beginning of a year," he said.

Like many others, Tashi consecrated hada, food and 300 yuan (about 44 U.S. dollars) of donation in front of the Buddha figures.

His family prepared a whole cattle for the new year banquet. They bought clothes and a cellphone as new year gifts for Tashi. "I shot pictures of the dance with the cellphone. I will show them to my family," he said.

Before the Vajra Dance, all the lamas of the monastery chanted the sutra for seven days, praying for a favorable year for the people, said the 40-year-old Dradul, head of the monastery.

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