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Locals in Tibet celebrate Tibetan New Year

February 27th, 2017, marks this year's Tibetan New Year.

Across China's Tibet Autonomous Region, local people are celebrating with their families.

Fireworks have brightened up the sky – and people's smiling faces –in Tibet.

During the cold night of the Tibetan New Year's Eve, thousands of people are queuing on Barkhor Street, heading for Jokhang Temple.

Located in the heart of Lhasa, this temple becomes a focal point during the New Year period.

Most local people come to the temple to pray for good luck in the coming year. One of the pilgrims explains his plans.

"First I'm going to the Jokhang Temple to pray to the Sakyamuni, and then I'll go to the Little Jokhang Temple and then the Potala Palace. Now lots of people are queuing up to go there," said the pilgrim.

As more and more people flow onto Barkhor Street, the New Year flavor rises to its peak.

In Tibetan culture, local people make special food tributes such as Zanba, which is made of highland barley flour, or Tibetan Chema, which is a special kind of Zanba.

Local people first perform the ritual of making Chema for the Buddha, and then eat the Zanba with their family and neighbors on the first day of the Tibetan New Year.

Another ritual is drinking highland barley wine. However, there is a rule – you have to finish the whole cup within three sips!

The beauty of the Tibetan New Year celebrations also attracts a lot of outside visitors. One woman on Barkhor Street, named Chen Juan, explains why she is there.

"I'm here to observe and experience the local New Year. I'm really interested in the local culture," said Chen.

Another, Shi Mengyao, has traveled all the way from the northeast of China.

"It is very lively. One thing that impresses me the most is that local people are so devout. I've seen lots of them deeply kowtowing all the way from their homes to make the pilgrimage to the Jokhang Temple," said Shi.

Among all the local customs and rituals during the Tibetan New Year, there are also some taboos.

It is better if you don't touch brooms on the first day of the New Year, because people believe that the action will literally sweep away your good luck in the coming year.

On top of that, don't say any dirty words. You shouldn't swear on this day.

Along Barkhor Street, a bar named Makye Ame is a must-see for many tourists. It is named after the lover of the famous Tibetan poet, Tshangs dbyangs Rgya mtsho.

One of his poem says, "Be there in my arms or let me stay in your heart. We love each other in silence, and rejoice with serenity." Our love for the mysterious and beautiful Tibetan New Year customs and culture will never end, and we rejoice with serenity.

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