Tibetan New Year & the ‘Water Grab’


Original Chinese Language Source Text: By Tibetan Tourism Network

(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

On Tibetan New Year’s Day – one of the first activities involves the ‘Water Grab’. At dawn, women head to the nearest well or river carrying buckets. The buckets are wrapped in white Tibetan prayer-scarves, which represent ‘good luck’. The well or riverbank is decorated with prayer scarves, burning incense sticks, cards, and various over gifts – all designed to ensure that the water gathered is full of good luck. People run to the water source because whoever can scoop-up the first container of water – gains the largest amount of good fortune. When the women return to their homes with the collected water, they change into their festive costumes, and the eldest woman in the house takes the water to the family shrine, (to be placed in special bowls) as an act of respectful worship to the Buddha and various other deities. According to custom, only women can perform this important task and men are not allowed to participate. If a man runs to the river or well, he will attract the ridicule of his neighbours, and the women consider this behaviour incorrect and unvirtuous. Today, however, many Tibetan homes possess running-water, and it is the domestic-tap that is decorated with prayer-scarves, incense sticks, and other holy gifts, and from which the water is collected.

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015.

Original Chinese Language Source Article:






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