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From: China Daily 2014-03-03 13:56:00
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Lhasa orphans mark Tibetan New Year with noodle feast

Auspicious greetings, barley wine, prayer flags, fireworks, and laughter filled the air in Lhasa on Sunday as Tibetans dressed in their best clothes to embrace the Tibetan New Year, known locally as Losar.

According to the Tibetan calendar, this year is the Year of Wood Horse. It started on Friday, which was the 29th day of the 12th month on the Tibetan calendar.

In line with their tradition, Tibetans celebrated on Friday evening by eating Gutu - ball-shaped noodles made from nine key ingredients, reflecting number nine in the date.

While the noodles and the broth in which they are served are delicious enough, there is an added treat included in the meal. Enfolded into a few of the Gutu dough-balls are materials with a symbolic meaning, either good or bad.

Carefully cutting the balls open, diners may find a small ball of wool or a scrap of paper, which symbolizes some aspect of their character and their way of life. The balls are distributed randomly, making the process all the more mysterious.

The children of Gyalzur Tendol Orphanage in Lhasa's Doilungdeqen county were particularly excited by the festive occasion, especially the Gutu feast and its associated game of symbols.

Most of the 61 children who have made the orphanage home were present for the occasion, returning from their temporary lodgings at schools or colleges.

"I got wool in my bowl of Gutu, which means I am a good-tempered person," said Tseyang, a Tibetan girl who still thinks of the orphanage as home, despite having moved away to study at the Tibet Medical College.

Among those helping to make the meal is Tsamjo, one of the two nurses at the orphanage. She has been working there for 21 years.

[editor : ]
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