Counting Down to the Tibetan New Year

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As we are counting down the days to the Tibetan New Year on February 27, the Trans Himalayan Aid Society board and staff would like to take this opportunity to wish all our friends and members warmest good wishes and our hope for a peaceful, healthy and fulfilling New Year.

As Losar draws near, we would like to introduce the customs of Guthuk, an interesting aspect of the Tibetan New Year. On the next-to-last-day of the old year – this year, on February 25 – Tibetan families prepare a special dish called Guthuk, a hand rolled noodle soup. On this day rituals are performed to drive out all the negative forces of the old year. In each bowl of soup there is an extra-large ball of dough that contains a piece of paper, like a fortune cookie. The paper has the name of an item signifying a specific human characteristic, positive or negative.

As family members sit around the steaming pot of broth, a dough ball is served along with Guthuk. Each dough-ball revelation (which produces lots of laughter!) is said to represent the innate disposition of the person. If you really believe you possess that characteristic, especially when it is negative, then it is an opportunity for you to reflect and leave that trait behind with the old year. So if you get wool, it means you are kind, if you get chili, it means you have a quick temper. Some other samples are:

Wool – kindness

Sun and moon – glory and fame

Chili – a quick temper

Charcoal – cold-hearted

Salt – laziness

Square mat – easy-going

For more details, and a recipe for Guthuk, see Jampa Yangchen’s post: https://simplytibetan.com/2012/02/19/guthuk/

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