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Tibetans quietly celebrate traditional festival amid epidemic
February 24,2020   By:Xinhua
LHASA, Feb.24,2020 -- Yangzom and her family in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, decided to celebrate a quiet Tibetan New Year this year as local authorities called on citizens not to hold or participate in group activities amid the coronavirus epidemic outbreak.
 
Two days ahead of the Tibetan New Year which falls on Feb. 24 is the traditional "Gutu Eve" for families to have a feast of cooked wheaten food at home. For the family of Yangzom, they also celebrated the recovery of 72-year-old Losang, Yangzom's mother-in-law, who had rheumatoid arthritis surgery earlier in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
 
The family was advised to stay at home for 14 days in quarantine after returning home on Feb. 17, but their expectation for the traditional holiday did not fall through as their neighborhood has taken on the responsibility for meeting the needs of the isolated household.
 
"The dinner table on the 'Gutu Eve' was piled with traditional dishes and deserts just like previous years, thanks to the groceries and daily necessities handed out by our neighborhood," said Losang.
 
Losang has two sons and a daughter who are all on duty for the anti-epidemic fight. She said she understood and supported their absence for the family gathering on this year's "Gutu Eve".
 
"We wish our country and hometown Tibet happiness and good health in the new year," said Yangzom when tasting a specially made dumpling for the holiday.
 
She added that the stuffing in the dumplings also represents their new year wishes such as coins for wealth and brown sugar for happiness.
 
"We understand that now is the critical time for epidemic prevention and control and we will celebrate a quiet Tibetan New Year to reduce crowd gathering," said Yangzom.
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