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Tibetans prepare for Losar, the Tibetan New Year

By Lin Nan (CNTV)

10:29, February 10, 2013

A Tibetan woman carries deep-fried dough cakes prepared for Tibetan New Year in Xiapai Village at Guide County, northwest China's Qinghai Province, Feb. 6, 2013. The Tibetan New Year, or Losar, falls on Feb. 11 this year. (Photo/Xinhua)

People in Tibet are busy preparing for Losar, the Tibetan New Year. According to this year’s Tibetan calendar, it falls a day behind the Chinese lunar New Year. Our reporter Lin Nan is in Lhasa to experience the festival atmosphere with a local family.

It is the beginning of the day a special day for Da Wa Dun Zhu’s family. Losar, the Tibetan New Year, is approaching. And many things need to be prepared for this most important day of the year. Raising a new national flag is the family tradition to embrace the upcoming celebration.

"The Tibetan New Year is a couple of days away, but the preparations have kicked off. I’m coming to a family in a village of Lhasa to see how they welcome the year of the water snake."

Although Da Wa Dun Zhu has passed the work of decorating to his younger son, he is still watching carefully to make sure every detail is perfect. His elder son is taking on another mission - cooking the fried dough twist.

First, you mix flour with water in a basin to make a dough. Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

A touch of red paint adds a more festive style. Roll the dough onto a greased surface and into a long roll. Then cut it into round pieces. Roll each piece into a small strip. Fold each strip twice and twist it into a stick. Deep-fry each until golden and crispy. Remove, drain well, and sprinkle with sugar. Mission accomplished. Meanwhile, Da Wa Dun Zhu is keeping himself busy.

Da Wa Dun Zhu, Lhasa Resident, said, "I’m cleaning the goods to worship God. They were passed on from my parents many decades ago."

Worshipping God is a daily routine for the old man. He hopes that the spirit will keep the family healthy and prosperous. After a long day’s work, the family needs comfort food Gutu. It is made of wheat flour. Tibetans wraps things in it, such as chilly pepper, salt and something beyond your imagination.

"So what is this?"

Da Zhen, Lhasa Resident, said, "It is cow dung. Whoever has it will be the lucky star of the year."

Traditionally, Gutu is served during the Tibetan New Year’ Eve banquet. Even if it is not the right time, I really wanted to give it a try, so my host decided to cook it for me in advance.

"To get an authentic Losar experience, my host is having me try on a traditional Tibetan outfit and here it is."

The wait is long but worth it. When the food is brought to the table, everyone gets excited. Not just for the food, but the feeling of family unity.

Bian Ba Dun Zhu, Lhasa Resident, said, "We live in different parts of Tibet, and usually only speak on the phone. Getting together means a lot for the family."

The green barley wine is the best company on such an occasion. "Zhaxidele!" And this is the New Year’s greeting from Tibet.

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