Exam Time and Happy Losar

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The end of winter term is fast approaching and soon students and staff will travel back to Upper Mustang for the summer.  Before that happens though there’s the matter of exam time!  This week has been a busy one with exams at the beginning of the week and now culminating in festivities for all as 3 days of Losar (ལོ་གསར་ in Tibetan, “new year”) celebrations begin today 16th February as everyone welcomes in The Year of The Earth Dog.

Wishing all our students, teachers, friends, supporters and brothers and sisters in our Namgon family a very happy Losar Year of the Earth Dog.  Losar Tashi Delek

Everyone makes the most of their down time studying for exams.

On Monday this week three days of exams began including Nepali, Tibetan, Social, English, Maths……
Good luck to you all our girls and hoping all the hard work is rewarded.  If  everyone does their best, that’s all that can be asked.  All sponsors and friends send best wishes……

And after the exams everyone can relax and enjoy the sunshine – all smiles even if the weather is chilly but not as cold as the route to Mustang where, according to the Kathmandu Post, heavy snow has been falling.  Let’s hope the route is cleared by the time the girls go home for holidays in March….

Relaxing after exams and looking forwards to Losar….

The most important holiday in Tibet is Losar, which celebrates the Tibetan New Year.  Today (16thFebruary 2018) marks the beginning of Tibetan New Year of the Earth Dog 2145 in the Tibetan Buddhist calendar.

Losar (Tibetan: ལོ་གསར་, “new year”) is a three day festival.  On the first day celebrations are usually restricted to the family, with the second and third days being the time to visit and exchange gifts with friends and more distant relatives.  This is also a time for Tibetans to visit monasteries and make offerings.

Losar is marked with activities that symbolise purification, and welcoming in the new.  So often buildings are whitewashed and thoroughly cleaned, debts are settled, people wear new clothes and special foods such as kapse (fried twists) are made.  A favorite drink is chana (barley beer) which is served warm.

Because the words “sheep’s head” and “beginning of the year” sound similar in Tibetan, it is customary to fashion a sheep’s head from coloured butter as a decoration.  Another traditional decoration that symbolizes a good harvest is the phyemar (“five-grain bucket”), a bucket with a wooden board that creates two vertical halves within.  This bucket is filled with zanba (also known as tsamba, roasted qingkebarley flour) and barley seeds, then decorated with barley ears and coloured butter.

Buddhist monks adorn the monasteries with the finest decorations, and conduct religious ceremonies and people perform rituals to drive away evil spirits.  There’s much celebrating with feasts and dancing.

Please join me in wishing all out friends celebrating Losar, a very happy, healthy and peaceful
Year of the Earth Dog 2145.

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