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Tibetan Festival Guide

Tibetan New Year in Shigatse Area

Tibetan New Year, also known as Peasants Day for Tibetans, is the most ceremonious festival in Shigatse, and it falls on the 1st of the twelfth month according to the Tibetan calendar.

Shigatse is a rich and fertile agricultural area, where the local people created their own calendar 100 years ago to better arrange agronomic activities.

Customs

It is a tradition for people living in Shigatse and Lhasa to keep their yards and kitchens clean and tidy during Tibetan New Year, when the locals put up New Year paintings on the doors to add luster to the festival.

The most unforgettable experience of Tibetan New Year in Shigatse Area is eating gutu, a kind of dough with white stones, capsicums, wool, or charcoal in it, which has a rich symbolic meaning.

If a man eats a gutu with wool in it, he is considered to be kind-hearted; if he eats one with a capsicum in it, he is thought to be harsh-tempered; if he eats one with a charcoal in it, he is deemed to be vicious; and if he eats a dough with white stones, he is regarded as unpopular among the crowd, so he will be forced to drink wine as a punishment.

The dishes served during Tibetan New Year are traditionally dominated by mutton, including dried mutton, boiled mutton, and roast mutton. Great changes have taken place in Shigatse's food habits, and the dishes are richer than ever before.

A number of cultural entertainment performances take place in Shigatze during Tibetan New Year, including horse-racing, arrow-shooting, singing, and dancing.

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