January 22: The Tamang community is observing Sonam Lhosar across the country today by organising various programmes.
The festival is taken as the commencement of the near year as per the Manju Shree calendar or Tibetan lunar calendar and today marks the beginning of the year 2859.
As per the Tamang tradition, today they complete the ‘year of tiger’ and enter the ‘year of rabbit’.
The festival falls on the first day of the bright half in the month of Magh (mid-January to mid-February) according to the lunar calendar.
There is a custom in the Taming community to count the year with association of symbols of 12 different animals: rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, bird, dog and boar. It starts with rat and ends on boar.
According to researcher Tika Sherpa, the counting of year with the name of animals suggest that the Tamang people are worshippers of nature. Various districts in the Bagmati Province are predominantly Tamang districts and this festival is observed in such districts with much fanfare.
The Bouddhanath Area Development Trust has planned various programmes today to observe the festival. Likewise, Nepal Tamang Ghedung has decided to mark the festival by organising programmes in the Tundikhel for the next three days. Likewise, the Swoyambhu area in Kathmandu is also hosting programmes on the occasion. -- RSS