The whole World has seen and welcomed the NEW YEAR 2011, already. Champagne toasts have been made, wishes have been exchanged, resolutions have been set, kisses have been planted, so on and on. Those are typical visible scenes everywhere as people eagerly wait for the final ‘count down’.
But not quite yet done for Bhutanese people! This is because only today marks the official new year, according to the Bhutanese Buddhist Calendar. It is known as LOSAR, or to be specific ‘Chu Nyi Pai Losar’. The day is declared a national holiday, and it is a festive day. Family members gather, wish for the successful years, and throw a grand party. While elderly people settle over some dosage of locally brewed alcohol called 'Ara' and 'Banchang', after the lunch, men normally engage in playing some games like Archery, Khuru (darts), Dego, etc, as their female counterparts engage in dances and merry-making.
The day is particularly significant in a sense that everybody gets to meet and spend a quality time together. As the night falls, the young boys and girls go around the villages, singing and dancing. After doing a few rounds of dances, they would proceed to other houses, and eventually call of-which usually doesn’t happen until early in the morning. The day is normally followed by series of games played between villages. The festive mood sustains for about a week.
But I have been deprived of such merry-making festive moments for quite sometime now, as I am away from home. This is the fourth year since I am away, which means I have missed four such events. I do really miss such occasions, and looking forward to enjoying next years’ LOSAR. However, this time I thought of doing a little bit of a Bhutanese-thing. Last week I went to an Asian grocery, and bought frozen pork. I cut them into thin layers, and hung on the window pants to let them dry. With that I got what we called as ‘sikkam’. I recollected what my mom and dad used to do while I was with them back at home. They would start preparing dishes a night before the actual day. So here too, I cooked the Sikkam last night, and kept readied for today. After waking up quite late, (which is very untraditional for such occasions?), I celebrated LOSAR in my own ways! Happy Losar to everyone!
|Ready to Eat; my Losar!|