Dharamsala Celebrates the First day of 2131, Wood-Monkey Year
Dharamsala, 21 February: The Tibetan year of the Wood-Monkey, 2131, begins today. Tibetans all across the world celebrate the first seven days of Losar (New Year) as times for thanksgiving, homecoming and prayer. In Dharamsala, the Tibetans from all walks of life joined to celebrate Losar at Tsuklakhang, the Central Cathedral, in its usual gala in traditional ways. At 7 am, the monks of Namgyal monastery, the personal monastery of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, performed the historical invocation and propitiation rituals (Tsetor) for the protector deities of Tibet on the rooftop and offered two seven-feet tall Torma (sacrificial cake) especially to the glorious goddess Palden Lhomo. Tsetor followed the official function inside the main hall where the monks of Namgyal Monastery chanted prayers of welcome, two senior monks staged a dialectical debate on Buddhist philosophy, and performance of auspicious Gar (Tibet’s ancient dance) by the young artists of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.
Dignitaries presented at the occasion include: Mr. Jadhur Sangpo- the Supreme Justice Commissioner, Representatives of the Tibetan Parliament, Kalon Thupten Lungrig, Kalon Lobsang Nyendrak, Kalon Lobsang Nyima, Abbot of Namgyal Monastery, Secretaries and staff of the Central Tibetan Administration. Still in his retreat, His Holiness could not attend the functions. Out of station, Kalon Tripa, Samdhong Rinpoche also could not attend the ceremony.
Hundreds of people who have gathered at the Tsuklakhang, came in their best attire smiling, wishing each other Tashi Delek (Tibetan greeting), praying for something special for the new year. Tsering, a new arrival lady from Chamdo, said, “I pray for a quick reunion of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet and celebration of next Losar in Tibet with His Holiness in Potala”. Lobsang, a resident of McLoed Ganj, prays for “a prompt and a successful negotiation between China and Tibet”. Another young Lobsang said, “Losar brings tears in my eyes. Each Losar adds one more year of Chinese domination on our shoulders. It is a time to mourn and reflect, not celebration”.