Traditional sport adds fun to Tibetan New Year

The Feb. 12th is Jan. 4th according to Tibetan calendar. In the Lin'a Village of Dagze County of the Lhasa, villagers are in splendid new year clothes. There is a Tibetan traditional sport competition being held here – called the "The stone hits the cow horn".

In the morning, villagers gather together on an open ground, and a cow horn tied with a white hada is placed at the distance. A 22-year-old young villager Batsang Tseren is standing at a point that is 30 meters away from the horn. His right hand is holding a piece of stone concentrating on throwing the stone forward. It hits exactly on the cow horn after curving gracefully through the air. People at the sight immediately start to joyfully cheer.

Basang Tseren's opponent is Dawa who did not hit the cow horn with the stone. A group of girls standing beside quickly bring over a bowl of barley liquor. Dawa dips his hand into the liquor and sprinkles the liquor into the air three times, afterwards he sits on the ground on his knees and drinks the rest of the liquor in the bowl.

"The cow horn was hit accurately, and this symbolizes that the coming year will go smoothly with a lot of good luck. Those who can't hit the horn punish themselves with a bowl of barley liquor. ", said Basang Tseren. 

Next to the competition site, people from all of the households bring over their homemade Kasai, barley liquor as well as sweet tea, and they also bring over by truck a loudspeaker for amplification to add to the fun.

"I woke up at 7 o'clock in the morning, helping my mother prepare the food for today", said the 18 year-old Guoguo who is carrying a basket full of food walking through the crowd. Together with other girls in the village, she is sharing the festive food with good friends.

The villager Dawa is working at a public transportation company in Lhasa. In the past 14 years, this is first time she has come back to her hometown to celebrate the New Year. This year " The stone hits the cow horn " competition is different from what was in her memories: "People are dressing in much more beautiful clothes nowadays. When I was young, having new clothes would make me feel very happy, yet nowadays the material life of the villagers is the same of those living in the urban areas.”

It was learned that, during the Tibetan New Year, Tibetan people from other places also hold many different traditional sport competition activities, such as push-and-pull, wrestling and horse racing.

"I have been far away from home for 14 years already, and the New-year festive atmosphere at home has never changed.", looking at the joyful villagers, Dawa's eyes are full of deep love and affection for her hometown.