Thursday, 10 January 2008

I get two, actually three...

Moroccans will celebrate the Islamic New Year (1429 anno hegirae) Thursday, January 10, a communiqué of the Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs announced on Wednesday.

The Islamic New Year begins with the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. This day is celebrated to pay homage to Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) emigration from Makkah to Madinah. Since the Islamic lunar calendar, introduced in 634 A.D., is 11-12 days shorter than the solar calendar, the date of the holiday changes each year.

Tibetan New Year is the most important festival in Tibet and falls on 7 February this year in the Gregorian calendar. It is an occasion when Tibetan families reunite and expect that the coming year will be a better one. Known as Losar, the festival starts from the first to the third day of the first Tibetan month. Preparations for the festive event are manifested by special offerings to family shrine deities, painted doors with religious symbols, and other painstaking jobs done to prepare for the event. Tibetans eat Guthuk (barley crumb food with filling) on New Year's Eve with their families. Eating Guthuk is fun since the barley crumbs are stuffed with a different filling to fool someone in the family. The Festival of Banishing Evil Sprits is observed after dinner. Signs that the New Year is approaching are when one sees lit torches, and people running and yelling to get rid of evil spirits from their houses. Before dawn on New Year's Day, housewives get their first buckets of water for their homes and prepare breakfast. After breakfast, people dress up to go to monasteries and offer their prayers. People visit their neighborhoods and exchange their Tashi Delek blessings in the first two days. Feast is the theme during the occasion. On the third day, old prayer flags are replaced with new ones. The festivites in Mcleod Ganj, India are the same. His Holiness usually gives a special audience and conducts services in the Temple. It's a hoot!

I'm going to need more Cristal champagne!


Winchester whisperer said...

Happy New Year! Are you off to Tibet?

lady macleod said...

I don't think I can make it for New Year's but I'm thinking about the summer..

thank you for coming by.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Very informative - thank you, Lady M.