Luding’s New Year


Ludings New Year comes with the last day of the 12th lunar month of the year, and the first day of the...

Luding’s New Year comes with the last day of the 12th lunar month of the year, and the first day of the first lunar month. Its Spring Festival lasts from the first day to the 15th day of the first lunar month. Before the New Year, slaughtering pigs and making pickled bacon (Chinese: Larou) have already begun since the Winter Solstice; People will eat the Laba meal (porridge) on the 8th day of the 12th lunar month; People will begin buying goods for the New Year, and dusting their house beginning on the 16th day of the 12th lunar month; People will offer sacrifice to their kitchen god on the night of the 23rd day. They will offer salt, tea, rice, or beans to their kitchen god, and hope the god can travel to Heaven and report their good deeds, and grant them good luck after he returns.

On eve of the 30th (or 29th) day of the lunar month, people will stick couplets, hang up colorful lanterns (only the wealthy will do so), worship family gods, light up eave lamps, and eat dinner of the eve; as night falls, all the family members sit together around an oven, and the elder family members will give their young Yasuiqian (money given to the young during the New Year), and stay up throughout the night.

On the early morning of the first day of the New Year, people will eat Tangyuan (round glutinous rice dumplings), which signify family reunion. After breakfast, dressed in shining costumes, people will gather in the public areas to enjoy themselves; when crossing paths with their friends, relatives or acquaintances by chance, they will say hello and wish them a happy new year, or say “May you be happy and prosperous”. After the first day, they will begin visiting their relatives, and drink Spring Festival liquors or wines; the wealthy families will set up bamboo poles to hang up lanterns on their tall buildings; people will also play lanterns, dragon lanterns, Yaomei lanterns, and rhino lanterns, and the locals will play mute lanterns (part of Tibetan opera) in Lan’an Township. People will celebrate the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the lunar month, and burn incense and light candles to see off the New Year. Since the 1980s, on each Spring Festival Eve, people have been setting off firecrackers to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new. The firecrackers will sound in the night and can last half an hour or so.

Source: Article/Kham-Tibetan Folk Culture

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