Nepal is a culturally diverse country that is well-known for its diversity in cultures, geographical location, and many other important elements across the world. Nepal is a tiny nation with a lot of diversity since it is multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-racial. TamuLhosar is one of the important festivals celebrated by the gurung community in Nepal. Losar means New Year and Tamu is another name for Nepal’s Gurung people. Tamu Losar is a Gurung New Year celebration. Tamu Losar is the start of the TamuSambat, or Gurung Calendar Year.
When is TamuLhosar celebrated?
Tamu Losar is celebrated every 15 Poush (December/January) on the Nepali calendar. Losar is a time when all generations of a family gather to offer love and greetings. Gurungs gather in large towns to celebrate Tamu Losar (Gurung New Year) in a shared location, where they participate in different traditional processions, feasting, and greetings. They used to gather in courtyards in the villages to celebrate Losar. On Poush 15 of the Nepali BikaramSambat Calendar, Losar is celebrated at Kathmandu’s Tundikhel ground, which is lively with colorful booths and people streaming inside.
Poush 15 signals the end of winter and the beginning of spring, bringing warmth and charm to Tamu Losar. During the festival, the elders sing “thadobhaka,” while others dance to “chudka” (a fast-paced dancing style). This is a fantastic chance for young people born and bred in the city to have a better understanding of their culture while also assisting in the preservation of traditions. On the day of Lhosar, when the prayer flags flutter in the wind from the rooftops, greetings are shared, long-lost friends and relatives are met, and new members are welcomed into the samaj (community).
Tamu Losar is celebrated by Gurungs all over the world with gatherings in traditional dress and cultural activities. On that day, they also pay a visit to Buddhist shrines. The days in Losar and the activities provide opportunity for Nepal travelers to experience the Gurung community’s traditional heritage. Gurungs (Tamu) are indigenous Nepalese who reside in the west-central portions of the country, with some living east of Kathmandu. Gurungs are divided into several clans, each of which is recognized for its courage and cultural riches. Their warm welcome and warmth were obvious in the platters of sel roti (Nepali bread) and Achaar (Nepali pickles) given for the Losar celebration. The Gurungs divide time into 12-year cycles (lohokor), with each year receiving a unique name known as Barga (lho). Losar also signifies a shift in ‘Lho.’ The 12 lhos are the garuda, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, bird, dog, deer, mouse, cow, tiger, and cat, according to the eastern astrological system.As a result, each year is designated by a different animal, which is placed in a single circle, closely mirroring the Tibetan calendar’s 12 animals. The 12 rotation system was used to compute people’s ages in the early days of Nepal, when there was no calendar system. Losar is typically celebrated for three days and includes a picnic, since Poush 15 symbolizes the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Gurung men wear a Kachhad, which is a short sarong or kilt with a white fabric shirt-like garment knotted across the chest and open like a bag at the rear (for carrying items). Gurung ladies in maroon velvet Ghalek (blouses) with big gold earrings and semi-precious stone necklaces were observed, both youngsters and teenagers. People from various locations, families, or individuals may put up stalls selling a variety of foods in a shared meeting spot to celebrate Losar. Excellent moments are defined by good food, good company, and good music. People sat on the ground in small and big groups, eating wonderful Gurung meals. Traditional and cultural dancing is performed. Homemade raksi i.e. alcohol is also available and served.
Immigrants and people from the Tamu Gurung community in the United States also celebrate the occasion in cities such as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Nashville, Tennessee.
Tamu Losar Day is a national holiday in Nepal. Gurungs have a long and illustrious history and culture. Rodhighar, Chudka, Sorathi, Ghantu, and Dhori are just a few of the outstanding Gurung cultural contributions to Nepal. Gurungs have their own language, culture, festivals, rituals, and ancient practices, yet they adhere to Nepali ideals and culture. The festivals like Tamu Lhosa ralways brings together family, friends, and neighbors, as well as giving working people and individuals from other castes a chance to relax and enjoy the festivities without judgment and discrimination. Such cultural entities are unique in the world, and they should be conserved in order to boost economic tourism in the country.
-Article written by: Saru Niraula for Land Nepal