|A classic tradition for the New Year is to eat dough balls, which have various hidden ingredients that serve as a light-hearted comment on one's character or a prediction of the coming year.(Photo/ China Tibet Online)|
The much anticipated Tibetan new year is still one month away, but people in Xigaze in the Tibet autonomous Region, celebrate the New Year one month earlier than people in other parts of Tibet. The improving living standards in the region are making the special event all the more merrier, let’s join the locals to see how they are welcoming in the new year.
The setting sun marks the last day of the year for the villagers here in Shigatse.
A family of 4 generations is preparing to welcome the New Year.
The young men here are frying sheep heads for the feast. Their spacious house was built in 2007 and offers plenty of room for the entire household.
A classic tradition for the New Year is to eat dough balls, which have various hidden ingredients that serve as a light-hearted comment on one's character or a prediction of the coming year.
Villager said, "If you find meat in your dough ball it means you are really connected to your family. If it’s wheat, then it’s good fortune. If its black beans, then it means you live with great frugality."
At ten in the night, the mother starts dispensing the dough ball, starting with the elders first, soon after, people started joking around about who got what in their dough balls.
Afterwards, one of the adults wielded burning highland barleys to drive out evil spirits and to pave the way for fireworks which officially welcomes in the New Year.
Early next morning, it is the first day of the Tibetan New Year.
A villager in another part of Xigaze is heading out to collect the first barrel of water of the year. It’s said that water on the first day of the year is the most holy and who ever gets there first will be spared bad luck for the entire year along with the person’s family.
But many are saying that they are not just avoiding bad luck but feel blessed.
Villager said, "We are much better off this year, we bought this shelf and the decorations for 2000 yuan, and we are also getting a new TV and building a new house which costs 30 thousand yuan."
So it seems the traditional Tibetan new year is thriving more than ever, only now with a touch of affluence.
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