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Losar Bey Tashi Delek & Kung Hei Fat Choi - By Shirley Lloyds

The Tibetans and Chinese are now enjoying their New Year Celebrations, they don’t always fall at the same time, but do this year, they are usually very happy, noisy and colourful occasions, with wonderfully yummy things to indulge in, there is lots of gift giving - a bit like our Christmas - and new clothes must be worn, but I feel because of Covid things will sadly be a bit low key and subdued this year.. The Tibetan celebrations last about 3 days and the Chinese around 15. Guy and I enjoyed many of these wonderful celebrations during our 7 year sojourn in Hong Kong.

So I wish all of you “Losar Bey Tashi Delek”- Blessings and Good luck, for the Tibetan New Year.. and “Kung Hei Fat Choi”- Congratulations and best wishes for a Prosperous New Year, for the Cantonese New Year.

There are many, many rituals and traditions associated with these festivals, some of which we may find a bit ‘strange’, but then I'm sure most Asians find some of our traditions extremely ‘odd’. The colour Black and White must not be worn at this time, as they represent mourning - death.. Red is of course the favourite, so how about, in keeping of the spirit of our Asian neighbours we all try and wear something red to class Tuesday (16th Feb) and preferably not black, but if you insist on wearing black, please, add something Red. I will explain a few other traditions in Class, as you know in our Yoga practice we truly respect and accept, without judgement or question all Races, all Cultures and all Religions and belief systems. So lets join in these happy events.

And to add to the fun, it is also Ganesha’s Birthday on Monday, this is celebrated in Maharashtra in a big way, another big Ganesha Festival is celebrated later in the year. As we all know Ganesha loves sweet things (that’s why he is somewhat rotund, to put it politely) and he loves flowers. I will bring some goodies on Tuesday to celebrate the three festivals – Im really sorry but I cant make Chinese dumplings etc. but will of course find something sweet.. and fruity !

I am bringing one of my Buddhas to class on Tuesday to celebrate the Tibetan and Chinese New Year, and a statue of Ganesha to celebrate his birthday, as I mentioned in class last Tuesday, it would be lovely if each of you who comes to class would bring just one flower to place by the images, if you haven’t got a flower just a small green twig is absolutely fine.

As you all are aware Gautama Buddha was a real Prince (believed to have lived in 6th – 5th century BC) who through his teachings encouraged us to seek enlightenment…..Ganesha sadly was not a living being, but what he represents is incredibly important, he supposedly clears any obstacles in our path allowing us to move forward with our lives, he represents wisdom, discrimination and understanding, and teaches us to live with compassion, to be patient and calm, and to live with purity, peace and truthfulness…. Similar to the Buddhist and Yogic teachings wouldn't you say ??

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