Tamu Lhosar is a festival of Gurung community, which is celebrated in Nepal. The term ‘Tamu’ refers to the Gurung people and the term ‘Lhosar’ denotes ’New Year’, hence the Tamu Lhosar festival means the new year of Gurungs. This festival is celebrated in the 15th of Poush (which lies in December or January of the Gregorian Calender) every year, according to the Nepali Calendar, which is a public and Government holiday all over Nepal. The festival is the beginning of ‘Tamu Sambat’, the calendar of the Gurung community.
The Tamu (Gurung) people are the indigenous tribes, who are located mainly in the central hilly, or especially the Gandaki region (Kaski District is the main) of Nepal, but live all over the country nowadays, in varied numbers. They have a history of living Nepal as old as the country’s civilization itself, and have their rich unique culture and recognition.
The ‘Tamu Lhosar’ is undoubtedly the main festival of the Tamu people. In this day, the family members of all generations have a huge get-together, and rejoice and celebrate by exchanging love and greetings. For this, they gather in a common place and have some cultural programs like singing and dancing in the folk songs as well. The day starts with hospitality welcome of each other with plates which has ‘Sel roti’ and ‘Achar’. In Kathmandu, a massive number of Gurung people gather in Tundikhel in Kathmandu, in their attractive and enchanting cultural dress. The men wear Bhangra, a white cloth shirt-like apparel tied across the chest and open like a bag at the back (for carrying things), and a Kachhad, like a short sarong or kilt. The Gurung women, both children and adolescents, wear Ghalek (blouses), which is enhanced by large gold earrings and semi-precious stone necklaces. They perform several rituals in Tundikhel in the day, with cultural programmes. In the villages, the people gather in their courtyards to celebrate the festival.
The Gurung people divide their years into 12 cycles, each one for a year, which is given a special name, represented by one of the 12 animals for each year. The day of Tamu Lhosar, 15th of Poush also indicates the end of winter and start of Spring season, which is another reason to fill the joy in the community.