Gurungs, who call themselves ‘Tamu’, are indigenous inhabitants of west-central parts of Nepal. Some also live east of Kathmandu. There are numerous clans of Gurung, the members of which are all well known for their valor, humor, singing and dancing skills. Their warm welcome and hospitality at the Losar celebration were evident from the plates with sel roti (rice flour donuts) and achaar (spicey pickles) being distributed around. The Tamu Losar marks the beginning of the Tamu Sambat or Gurung Calendar Year. Tamu Losar is celebration of Gurung’s New Year. The Tamu Losar marks the beginning of the Tamu Sambat or Gurung Calendar Year.
When is Tamu Losar?
Tamu Losar is celebrated on every 15 Poush of the Nepali calendar (in when family members are dispersed and gatherings go without the involvement of the entire family, it gives a great sense of pleasure to see families of three or four generations together celebrating. These days, especially in major cities, Gurungs come together to celebrate Tamu Losar (Gurung New Year) at a common place and rejoice in various cultural processions, feasting and merry-making. In old days villagers gathered in courtyards to celebrate Losar. If you happened to be in Kathmandu around 28 to 30 December, however, you may have noticed the Tundikhel grounds at the city center vibrant with colorful stalls and people thronging inside.
How do we celebrate Tamu Losar?
Losar is the time when family members of all generations get together and exchange love and greetings. In big cities, Gurungs come together to celebrate Tamu Losar (Gurung’s New Year) at a common place and rejoice in various cultural processions, feasting and greetings.
In old days villagers gathered in courtyards to celebrate Losar. In Kathmandu, Losar is celebrated in Tundikhel ground at the city center vibrant with colorful stalls and people flooding inside. Gurungs all across the world celebrate Tamu Losar by organizing rallies in traditional attires and cultural programs. They also visit Buddhist shrines on that day. The days in Losar and the events are the opportunities to Nepal traveler to witness cultural heritages of the Gurung community.
Gurungs (Tamu) are indigenous inhabitants of west-central parts of Nepal and some live east of Kathmandu. There are numerous clans of Gurungs, the members of which are all well known for their bravery and cultural wealth. Their warm welcome and hospitality at the Losar celebration were evident from the plates with sel roti (Nepali Bread) and Achaar (Nepali pickles) being served in the festival.
Gurungs divide time into cycles of 12 years (lohokor), to each year of which a special name is given, which is known as Barga (lho). Losar also heralds the change in ‘Lho’. According to the oriental astrological system, there are 12 lhos–garuda, serpent, horse, sheep, monkey, bird, dog, deer, mouse, cow, tiger and cat. Therefore, each year is marked by a particular animal and they are arranged in a single circle (on paper), closely following the Tibetan calendar with its’ 12 animals. In early days, when there was no calendar system in Nepal, the 12 rotation system was used to calculate peoples’ ages. As Poush 15 marks the end of winter and start of spring, Losar it traditionally celebrated for three days doing banbhoj (picnic) too.
Dress to observe in Loshar
Gurung men wear Bhangra, a white cloth shirt-like apparel tied across the chest and open like a bag at the back (for carrying things), and a Kachhad, like a short sarong or kilt. Gurung women, both children and adolescents, were seen in their maroon velvet Ghalek (blouses), enhanced by large gold earrings and semi-precious stone necklaces. Sometimes stalls selling varieties of delicacies are set up by people from different areas, families or individuals in the common gathering place to celebrate Losar. Good mood food, good company and music are the essence of good times. People in small and large groups sat on the ground enjoying delicious Gurung dishes. People perform traditional and cultural dancing. Home-made raksi (alcohol) are also being served.
It’s a public holiday in Nepal on Tamu Losar day. Gurungs are very rich in tradition and culture. Rodhighar, Chudka, Sorathi, Ghantu and Dhori are some of their wonderful are the contribution of Gurung culture to Nepal. Gurungs have their own language, cultural, festivals, rituals, traditional, but are consistence with Nepali culture and values.