Tibetans will mark Losar – the Tibetan New Year – on February 14th, 2010. In the Tibetan lunar calendar, this day marks the beginning of the Iron Tiger Year 2137, a time for change, hope, and renewal.
Since 2008, following the Tibetan uprising in all three historical provinces of Tibet, there has been an escalation in the imprisonment, torture and death of Tibetan men and women under Chinese rule. Because of this, last year, Tibetans united around the world and did not celebrate Losar.
This year, many Tibetans are planning to observe Losar for one reason only: because they are Tibetan. They will strengthen their Tibetan identity and spirit by speaking Tibetan language, wearing Tibetan dress, and observing Tibetan custom. This observance will help the Tibetans find new courage and opportunities to advance the struggle. In observing Losar with family and friends, Tibetans will reach for happiness, which, as much as suffering, is an integral part of a freedom movement.
Through all these years of occupation one thing is clear: the oppressor envies the spirit of the Tibetan people, which cannot be crushed by violence. This year Tibetans worldwide will nourish this spirit with the observance of Losar.
While observing this important cultural tradition, Tibetans and supporters can light butter lamps and candles on their altars and in their windows on February 14th to honor the courage of the Tibetan people in Tibet who continue to resist the Chinese government’s illegal occupation of their homeland.
Tibet will be free.