There are three really important days for us. We always try to meet in a larger group and to celebrate these days in an appropriate way. The most important day for the every Tibetan is – because of the current political situation – the 10th of March. It is the day of the Tibetan National Uprising and it commemorates the events of 1959 when the Chinese authorities brutally suppressed the uprising and the Chinese occupation of Tibet started. The second important day in the Tibetan calendar is the 6th of July so the birthday of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (which means “The Ocean of Wisdom”), who is the leader of Tibet in the most difficult times of our 2000 year long history. We celebrate this day in a joyful manner and organize a symbolic birthday party of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We invite guests - most often they are the members of our families, friends and people connected with Tibet. This year we organized such a birthday party in the school at 20 Raszyńska Street.

The third very important day is New Year (“Losar” in Tibetan), which usually falls on the end of February of the Tibetan calendar or on the beginning of March of the solar calendar. We try to celebrate this holiday in a traditional way and we start the celebration on the penultimate day of the year which is ending. We spend two last days of the passing year biding farewell to the old year. We perform many rituals of casting evil out of the human minds and houses. We also ponder on ourselves, which enables us to gain new energy and to make New Year resolutions. We traditionally start to celebrate the first day of the new year at midnight. We exchange New Year wishes in the family circle, standing in front of a beautifully decorated altar. Then we sit at the table and we try various holiday dishes. The celebration of New Year takes 15 days in Tibet. On the 15th day the celebration officially ends with another Buddhist holiday called “Monlam Chenmo” in Tibetan. It is the time of mass gatherings and intensive prayers. This holiday is celebrated in quite a simple manner, for one day or two. According to the Tibetan calendar we have now the Royal Year 2136. In 2010, the beginning of the Tibetan Iron Tiger Year 2137 falls on the 14th of February so two holidays, New Year and Valentine's Day, will coincide.

Tasi Delek, which means in Tibetan: All the best!

Text by Yeshi Lhosar
Translated by Krystyna Szurmańska