To Kopan Monastery and Lhosar – Tibetan New Year

To Kopan Monastery and Lhosar – Tibetan New Year

17th February we went on a walk to Kopan Monastery.

From our house, it looks like on the other side of a city. We asked the owner of our flat, how many kilometers were between us and the Monastery. He told us that only 2 kilometers, we were quite surprised, as you can imagine.

It so happened that the day we took a walk was festival. Lhosar, Tibetan New Year. The new year was the day before but the celebrations were after too. People wore fine clothes and some joined public parties where you pay for entrance and enjoy whole day, eating, dancing and celebrating. Some casts have they own way of celebrating. Like some of Gurung celebrate New Year by making games of archery. We sow one. They told us that it is their tradition. At this day, it happened so that, the Monastery also celebrated the happening. There was an initiation for long life.

We got ready around 10 o’clock. And while going there we didn’t know about the celebration or anything. We knew that there was New Year but we didn’t know about celebrations. While walking the ordinary road through the city, some groups of people in fine clothes passed next to us. Twice we saw a place where were celebrations. At one of them, we went to ask what was it. At first, we thought that this could be a marriage. But they told us that it was a celebration of Loshar.

We were walking all the way, once stopping for chay and some donuts. After, maybe, around 1 kilometer the road started to go upwards. Then we sow a monastery which happened to be a Kopan Nunery Monastery – Monastery for women. We got interested and went in. But it happened, that it was empty as it was Lhosar and everyone went to Kopan Monastery for the celebration. We met there only 2 girls (women) and they told us why it was so empty. So, we just went ahead. The view got better and better. On the right, we could see the city from up. We walked and walked until mum sow stairs. Small stairs on a side and she led us right there. We climbed next to some houses and finally, we got to Kopan Monastery, right in front of the entrance.

We went straight ahead and to a gate and there we saw many many people. Not that many. We wandered around for a little, then we went to the main building where the sound of puja started coming out. Many people sat in and some even outside. We had to seat outside and in just 2 minutes everyone started standing up and going inside to get a blessing and offer the money. We didn’t go inside. If we will get the blessing then only individual one. So we went to wear our shoes.

While mum made pictures dad took sisters and went to the back of the Monastery. I had to wait for mum to show her the way they went and we found them together. While waiting for mum, 2 monk boys from Monastery sitting on a side with 2 big buckets of some blessing offered me to eat one. I asked them what is it and if should I eat it or maybe make tikka. But I just ate it and it was sweet. After I told mum about it and she tried it too and said that it was just flour with sugar. Later we discovered that it had some raisins and nuts in it too.

We found dad and girls in a clearing. There were mostly tourists, sitting, reading, writing or talking on a grass. There were 2 nice, reach decorated, stupas. We wandered around, made few videos and pictures and went to other stairs which led to another small clearing with a nice view. We could see whole Kathmandu from there. Then girls led us down by another way which was easy for them, small agile children but for us, big giants it was a slow way mixed with cables hanging from god knows where and pipes lying on the ground. While we got to the bottom we sow the same 2 boys walking with the same 2 buckets giving the ‘blessing’. We took it from them for around thousand times. Then we went again, this time empty, Monastery. My dad made few videos, I made pictures. We got offered with another ball of sticking ‘blessing’. Then we got into the direction of home. We were at the Monastery for 2 hours.

We put shoes on and went through the gate by the same road, home. On the way back I saw on a side, a group of people, on the playground. While we were going to Monastery I saw them too but nothing was happening. Now there were shoutings and clearly, something was happening. We went to see what. And it happened to be archery games. The people were standing in a big half circle and one man was shouting. On the other side, I’m not sure, maybe, 30 meters away was a piece of wood stuck to the ground. It was the aim. When the man shoots it, everyone applauded. It was great seeing such a game. When everybody shot, they went on the other side to shot this side and we had to run away from there.

While walking we passed the same building where they were celebrating but this time there was music and we went in. We didn’t pay, just went in, made few videos, relaxed and went ahead to the second one. In the first one people were eating sitting and dancing in the circle. The second one was much bigger. There were a lot more people and there was a stage where a girl was dancing. There was not much to do, for us. So we continued going home and this time we stopped once more in a shop. To eat and drink.

We ate momo (dumplings with meat inside), buff, and mutton meat. Each, 80 Rs. My parents drunk rakshi, local alcohol. And we drunk coca. After we finished we really went home which was not far as it happened.

That was our walk to Kopan Monastery and celebrating f Lhosar. In a way, we celebrated I too but in our way.

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