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Tamu Lhosar

Sunday, December 31st, 2017
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The air was thick with laughter in Tundikhel, and thousands of dancing feet swept up huge, thick clouds of dust. Marking the beginning of the Gurung Calendar New Year and the end to the old one, the festival is the time of the year when Gurung families come together, dress up in traditional costumes and sashay en-mass to folk tunes, drink, parade, and flirt with each other. Tundikhel ground was filled with colourful stalls and parades, as the Gurung community celebrate the festival as old as Nepal’s civilisation itself.
Photos and text: Ryan Chang.
Girls dance in parade, dressed in traditional Gurung cholo and lungi.

Girls dance in parade, dressed in traditional Gurung cholo and lungi.

 

Members of the Gurung community showing off their cymbals and drums.

Members of the Gurung community showing off their cymbals and drums.

 

The animal for this year's Lhosar was the dog according to the change in 'Lho' - the astrological system of the Tamu people.

The animal for this year’s Lhosar was the dog according to the change in ‘Lho’ – the astrological system of the Tamu people.

 

A dancing circle was initiated while the prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba speaks. Most people cared more about the festivities than political lectures.

A dancing circle was initiated while the prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba speaks. Most people cared more about the festivities than political lectures.

 

The dancing circles feature the drums (tandu) and cymbals (jhyali).

The dancing circles feature the drums (tandu) and cymbals (jhyali).

 

The dancing circles feature the drums (tandu) and cymbals (jhyali).

Members of the Gurung community perform the syarge dance during the celebration of Tamu Lhosar.

 

The traditional dance syarge, is also a dance performed during funeral rites.

The traditional dance syarge, is also a dance performed during funeral rites.

 

Men are dressed head to toe in traditional Gurung garb - a Bhangra (white cloth across the chest) and Kachhad (short sarong).

Men are dressed head to toe in traditional Gurung garb – a Bhangra (white cloth across the chest) and Kachhad (short sarong).

 

As the rays of the sun began to set, the younger generation broke into smaller groups around the park, and begun their impromptu dance circles to more contemporary music.

As the rays of the sun began to set, the younger generation broke into smaller groups around the park, and begun their impromptu dance circles to more contemporary music.

 

Drenched in alcohol and the smoke of fires burning, the party continued on into the late night.

Drenched in alcohol and the smoke of fires burning, the party continued on into the late night.

 

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