Tibet Festival – Gongbu Spring Festival

Previously, like other areas of Tibet, Nyingchi prefecture celebrated Tibetan New Year on January, 1st of Tibetan Calendar. As legend depicts: in the reign of the Tubo Kingdom, the northern border of the Kingdom was intruded by enemies. King of the Tubo Kingdom ordered the leader of Gongbu, King Ajie to resist the invasion. When the winter came, and new year was approaching, King Ajie was so thoughtful that he ordered to put new year's celebration ahead to October the first of Tibetan Calendar. After the celebration of a happy new year, soldiers were in great mood and were brave to fight against. They finally won the battle. Hence, the tradition of new year celebration proceedingly had been passed on till today.

Gongbu new year has its unique tradition. When it comes to the nightfall of new year's eve, every family places cuo, food, fried flour cake, beef, mutton, butter, powdered cheese, genseng, brown sugar, dry peaches, apples inside a wooden basin, which is kept in the center of yard for dogs to eat. Gongbu men assert that what the dog eats or not both symbolize the fortune of future. If cuo or cake was eaten, it symbolizes a harvest. If powdered cheese and butter were eaten, it predicts a vigorous husbandry. If dry peaches were eaten, the family will be happy and healthy, and so on. When dogs finish eating, all family members sit together and eat jieda, doughball made of butter, powdered cheese and flour. Every family member will eat jieda as much as possible to make oneself too heavy to be carried away by evil ghosts.

On the first day of new year, people bring offerings and qingke barley wine to make sacrifice for goddess of harvest in each piece of field. They put up a long tree trunk, with prayer flags tied up and bound by straw in bottom. A sacrifice stage is put in front of the trunk. People will burn incenses, sing and dance so as to worship harvest goddess and pray for a harvest.

There are many special recreation activities in the new year celebration. From the second day of the new year, men do horse racing and archery. Arrows in Gongbu area can make noise. Arrow head, like cone, drilled with many small holes. It whistles when discharged from the bow string. The emitted the arrow, with roaring, drive people to feel nervous and excited. Besides these, there are also wrestling, stone carrying, tree cutting competitions. Women gather to play every kind of games besides singing to chevaliers and archeries. In the night, fires are lit in the square. A big bucket is placed beside the fires. People who come to dance will bring a pot of wine per person and pour it into the bucket. They dance and drink around fires all the night, with a great joy.

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