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Losar Metok: Most Beautiful "Flower" in Tibet's Winter

  • Source : China Tibet Online Author : Time : 02/12/2016 Editor : Tenzin Woebom

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    As Tibetan New Year approaches, Tibetan costumes, Kasai, butter sculpture, and Losar Metok could be seen everywhere in the holiday markets of Lhasa.


    When it comes to the "flower" of Tibetan New Year, people usually think of the five-colored Losar Metok in the Chemar box. In Tibetan, Losar means Tibetan New Year, while Metok refers to flower.


    Every house decorates with the "flower" during Losar with hopes for a happy and bountiful new year.


    For Tibetans, it is the most beautiful "flower" in winter, and booms for the most important holiday of all.


    According to tradition, every November in the Tibetan calendar, there is one village where every family makes Losar Metok.


    In Sangmu Folk Village, Tohlung Dechen County of Lhasa, every family is busy creating Losar Metok. The outlanders could only need to see which house had colorful water coming out of the pipes to know where to find Losar Metok.


    At the house of villager Lhamo, eight bunches of dyed highland barley leaped to the eyes.The light-green bunches are still steaming hot.


    Lhamo and her mother-in-law have been working on the "flower" since 9:30 in the morning in a room off the yard. The room was just 15 sqm and divided into two areas. The area near the door had a big pot of boiling water used for coloring highland barley.


    The area inside had three neat bunches as tall as a person, one was highland barley, the other two were Losar Metok of various colors.


    Lhamo said, “From 9:30 to 12, my mother-in-law and I color the highland barley at home, let them dry, then tie them into bunches with two strands of red, one strand of yellow, one each of dark and light green, and then sell them at the Barkor Shopping Mall.”


    The Losar Metok made in the Sangmu Folk Village are sold in areas as far as Nyingchi, Lhoka, and Shigatse.


    Losar Metok are made from colored ears of highland barley. In Tibetan calendar every year, the barley are planted before April 15, then fertilized and watered in June for a harvest in August and September. A month of drying time is needed before they’re put in storage so they can be dyed in November.


    After coloring, Losar Metok are tied in bunches and hung from wires in the yard, or off of beams in front of the house. You can see the colorful "flower" everywhere!



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