Tibetan New Year & the ‘Water Grab’

water-grab-01

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:

http://news.179xizang.com/zt/zlxn/xspd/2012/0227/21010.html

来源:西藏畅游网

藏历新年

藏历新年初一的第一个节目就是“抢水”。破晓时分,姑娘们就背着水桶到井边或河边去背水,水桶上系有一条雪白的哈达,表示吉祥。有的还会在井边或河边烧香、献哈达、卡赛等以示祈福,习俗认为谁舀到第一桶水,就意味着能够获得最好的运气。当家里的姑娘把第一桶水背回家时,穿上节日盛装的阿妈要做的第一件事就是走到佛龛前把姑娘背回来的水盛在供碗内敬奉神佛。按照习俗,家里的男性成员是不能出门背水的,不然会被街坊邻居笑话,说这家人的女人不贤惠。现在,许多家庭里都有了自来水,再也不用那么辛苦地背水吃了,因此“抢水”、献哈达等节俗已经简化到在自家的水龙头上挂上一条哈达即可。

 

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