Gangtok, Dec 29
The Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling and Smt. Tika Maya Chamling have extended their warm greetings to the people of Sikkim, especially the Gurung Community on the festive occasion of Tamu Lochar.
Tamu Lochar is the New Year of the Gurung community and it falls on the 15th day of the ‘Poush’ month in the Nepali calendar, which is the 30th of December in the Gregorian calendar. It is one of the biggest Nepali-Buddhist festivals celebrated in the Eastern Himalayas.
The Gurung community divides cycles of 12 years, which they call Lohokor, to each year with a Barga (Lho). Their traditional astrology contains 12lhos, which is similar to the Tibetan and the Chinese astrology. Each year is marked by a particular animal, which determines the horoscope of those individuals for the year. Hence, like for all other communities, Tamu Lochar is significant for the Gurung people as they start a new year with hope and prayers.
The celebration begins with people visiting monasteries and shrines with their family and relatives, offering prayers to the deities and performing rituals at the shrines, which is then followed by seeking blessings of the gods and the elders. A fair is organized for all the Gurung community people, where they dress up in their traditional attire and ornaments, and cultural songs and dances are performed. A grand feast of the traditional Gurung cuisine is also prepared and people exchange greetings with one another and share the joyous spirit of the festival.
“I would like to wish the members of the Gurung community a very happy Tamu Lochar,” said the Chief Minister.
“It gives me immense pleasure to see that every community in Sikkim has been putting in sincere efforts to showcase their culture and tradition in unique ways and most of all, share and celebrate the cultural integrity with one another. Sikkim truly represents the perfect picture of unity in diversity,” he added.
“The rich history of the Gurung community has been well documented by scholars from all over the world. It has been archived that the community has been existing right from the beginning of civilization, about eight to nine thousand years ago. I hope the people from this community, especially the youth, preserve and promote their rich heritage and carry forward the legacy of their forefathers”, Mr Chamling stated.
“May the festival usher in love, peace, happiness and well-being to the people of Sikkim”, the Chief Minister concluded.