Author Topic: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden  (Read 7834 times)

WisdomBeing

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Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« on: February 19, 2011, 01:14:03 PM »
I saw that there is a Dorje Shugden Maha Gutor Festival for 4 days from 30 February 2011. Here are some pictures for your info, which i extracted from http://shargadenpa.org/gutor-festival.

I also looked up 'Gutor' and found this at http://www.kotan.org/tibet/festivals.html#gutor

Gutor = Day before New Year's Eve (29th day of the 12th lunar month)

Usually, explanations of Tibetan festivals start with looking at the New Year's Day celebrations. However the year's end is also of special importance and Tibetans observe 'Gutor' while they are busy preparing for the New Year's Day.

Preparations for New Year start about two weeks before the day and people arrange their religious offerings, buy new dress clothes, food and drink for the feasts etc. The feasts include a substantial amount of 'Dresi' a sweet buttered rice with added raisins, 'Droma', which is rice boiled with small potatoes, various meats, fruits, breads, chang, butter tea among others. 'Kapse', a fried sweet that comes in different shapes and forms, are a must. Tibetans are supposed to see in the New Year with these sweets piled high on their tray.

On 'Gutor', Tibetan families eat 'Guthuk' a soup with dumplings, in the evening. The dumplings contain beans, broken pieces of wood, chillis, wool, charcoal, or pieces of paper on which various words are written. People eat them in turn and they tell their New Year's fortune by checking what the ingredients of the one they chose. There is also a game played at this time where some of the family members decide on an unlucky mark in advance and the one who picks it has to do a forfeit.

Following this everyone participates in the original purpose of 'Gutor', which is to exorcise the evil spirits from the previous year by running around with a doll representing a fierce god, setting off fireworks, and hand-held fire crackers. On the 30th, New Year's Eve, Tibetans clean their houses and then wait in anticipation for the following days festivities.

 
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Helena

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2011, 01:26:08 PM »
Wow, WB - Thanks for sharing this lovely post here.

Most informative and wonderful to read. It's interesting to note the various different ways each culture celebrate and usher in the new year. In Asia when I was living there, I got to witness and participate the Chinese new Year, Muslim New Year and Indian New Year. They are all different.

One similarity is that they all have a lot of sweet treats and food or dishes as that seem to start the new with sweetness. Each culture has their own unique sweets and dessert. But what you shared about the "Guthuk" is by far the most interesting I have come across.

Welcoming a new year with Dorje Shugden is a such beautiful thing.

May 2011 truly bring about a most positive change for all Shugden Practioners.

May this year bring about true peace and harmony for all!
Helena

Zach

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 03:51:49 PM »
WOW certainly sounds fun   ;D

triesa

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 04:47:31 PM »
New year celebrations all over the world more or less have very similar grounds. What is special  at Shar Gaden is that the monks are welcoming the arrival of the new year with Dorje Shugden!!! Would be nice to see more pictures of the actual festival.

May the practice of King Dorje Shugden spread far and wide and all obstacles of shugdenpas be cleared and removed!

May everyone practises harmony and bring about world peace.....

DSFriend

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2011, 04:53:09 PM »


On 'Gutor', Tibetan families eat 'Guthuk' a soup with dumplings, in the evening. The dumplings contain beans, broken pieces of wood, chillis, wool, charcoal, or pieces of paper on which various words are written. People eat them in turn and they tell their New Year's fortune by checking what the ingredients of the one they chose. There is also a game played at this time where some of the family members decide on an unlucky mark in advance and the one who picks it has to do a forfeit.


Thanks WB for the info.

I got curious what it means with the different special content in the dumpling :)

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Losar

The ingredients one finds hidden in one's dough ball are supposed to be a lighthearted comment on one's character. If a person finds chilies in their dough, it means they are talkative. If white-colored ingredients like salt, wool or rice are inside the dough it is considered a good sign. If a person finds coal in the dough it has much the same meaning as finding coal in one's Christmas stocking; it means you have a "black heart".

I don't know about the wood though..


Following this everyone participates in the original purpose of 'Gutor', which is to exorcise the evil spirits from the previous year by running around with a doll representing a fierce god, setting off fireworks, and hand-held fire crackers. On the 30th, New Year's Eve, Tibetans clean their houses and then wait in anticipation for the following days festivities.

 


It's interesting that the evil spirits from the previous year is being exorcised. Does it mean that it is believed that the evil spirits from the previous year may follow them in to the new year..?

WisdomBeing

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2011, 05:01:50 PM »
I did some more research and found this - although it's not so relevant as it's more about secular rituals for the new year, I hope it'll be of interest!

http://www.tibetinfor.com/tibetzt-en/festival/fes01/fes_01_09.htm

Starting on the 23rd day of the 12th month, people prepare for the most important festival of the year. Man will purchase dresses, cloth, sugar, barley beer, rice, flour, tea etc.. Woman will make `tsamba', butter, cakes, and will fry foods, wash head, plait braids.

On the 29th or 30th, herdsman will use flour to paint the `eight auspicious emblems' and use plasters to draw the reversed `swastika' for good luck. The monasteries will spread foods for the hungry ghosts and chase away demons.

On the new year's eve, the residence will be cleaned and milk curd will be mixed with barley flour to make curd-pastry. The whole family will gather together to enjoy the `rice soup with nine treasures'.


------------------

The Festival of Banishing Evils falls on December 29 on the Tibetan calendar. Similar expressions are found in ethnic celebrations around the world with a theme of driving away evil spirits. On that day, a sorcerer's dance is performed in monasteries and a general cleaning is done in every household to get rid of misfortune and pray for godly blessings. Every family will have a traditional New Year's Eve dinner of Guthuk and torches are lit and howling are heard everywhere in a collective prayer for a new year free from misfortunes.

On New Year's Eve, the family gets together and eats a kind of bread called dguthug, made of nine ingredients, including dried meat, butter bits, and the fruit of Manikara zapota. Inside the dguthug is a bit of wool or charcoal or some peas, pepper, or other objects. If one finds wool in his dguthug, he is said to be kindhearted. If he comes upon a piece of charcoal, he is blackhearted.

When the dinner is over, the family members drive away ghosts by sweeping all the corners of the house, rubbing their bodies with zanba, and then running outside to cast aside the zanba tainted with bad luck and disasters at distant road crossings or in the wilderness. As night falls, bonfires are lit everywhere. The adults hurry back home for fear of being chased by ghosts, and the youngsters shout and jump for joy around the fire.

Preparation of Losar Eve

Preparation begins a month in advance. There is a general housecleaning, and auspicious signs are drawn with white powder in the courtyards and on the kitchen walls. Every family sprouts qingke barley seeds in water and puts the seedlings before the family shrine on New Year's Day as a prayer for an abundant harvest.

Another part of the preparation is the fashioning of a sheep's head out of colored butter. In the Tibetan language, "sheep's head" and "the beginning of a year" sound the same, and the sheep has traditionally been regarded as an auspicious animal in Tibet. A phyemar, or five-grain bucket, is a must. The bucket is vertically divided in to two halves by a wooden board and filled with zanba (roasted qingke barley flour with butter) and barley seeds and decorated with barley ears and colored butter.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

jessicajameson

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2011, 10:14:36 PM »
What a fun and interesting thread! :)

This sound much like the Chinese New Year in China - where they have fireworks to 'scare' spirits away to bring them good fortune for the year!

The dumplings sound especially enticing -- I'm quite sure that if I was there, I'd have a massive black coal in my dumpling... haha

Do the Shar Gaden monks get to participate in the festivities?

WisdomBeing

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 02:09:28 PM »
yes i do wonder how Shar Gaden will celebrate the Gutor Festival - I am particularly fascinated as it will be a Dorje Shugden Gutor... if anyone has or finds more info, please do post it up here.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

pgdharma

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2011, 03:27:59 PM »
Thanks Wisdom Being for this interesting post.

Interesting to know that to have a better year ahead the evil spirits are exorcised on New Year's eve with the hope that they will not be carried on to the following year.

How wonderful to know that the monks are welcoming the arrival of the new year with Dorje Shugden!!!!

Big Uncle

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 03:33:45 AM »
This great Gutor celebration to clear obstacles sounds like a very beneficial puja. I already read and heard wonderful stories of how Dorje Shugden have cleared amazing amounts of obstacles that are life-threatening. The imagery reminds me of the torgya ritual of removing obstacles by burning and throwing a ritual torma that represents all the negativities, bad karma and so forth into cleansing fire. I wonder if the Gutor is a similar ritual. Does anybody know more about this ritual. Perhaps Tenzin Sungrab have something to share if he is free enough to come to his laptop...

Losang_Tenpa

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 06:28:14 AM »
This great Gutor celebration to clear obstacles sounds like a very beneficial puja. I already read and heard wonderful stories of how Dorje Shugden have cleared amazing amounts of obstacles that are life-threatening. The imagery reminds me of the torgya ritual of removing obstacles by burning and throwing a ritual torma that represents all the negativities, bad karma and so forth into cleansing fire. I wonder if the Gutor is a similar ritual. Does anybody know more about this ritual. Perhaps Tenzin Sungrab have something to share if he is free enough to come to his laptop...


Yes, actually I was told by Yara Rinpoche that they are the same puja, called by different names. The Gutor is basically a torgya puja performed 2 days before the new year. There are many different kinds of torgya. The torgya puja held here a few weeks ago was a torgya for the 10 directional protectors.

WisdomBeing

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 07:51:03 AM »
This great Gutor celebration to clear obstacles sounds like a very beneficial puja. I already read and heard wonderful stories of how Dorje Shugden have cleared amazing amounts of obstacles that are life-threatening. The imagery reminds me of the torgya ritual of removing obstacles by burning and throwing a ritual torma that represents all the negativities, bad karma and so forth into cleansing fire. I wonder if the Gutor is a similar ritual. Does anybody know more about this ritual. Perhaps Tenzin Sungrab have something to share if he is free enough to come to his laptop...


Yes, actually I was told by Yara Rinpoche that they are the same puja, called by different names. The Gutor is basically a torgya puja performed 2 days before the new year. There are many different kinds of torgya. The torgya puja held here a few weeks ago was a torgya for the 10 directional protectors.


Hi Tenzin Sungrab!

I googled for Yara Rinpoche but couldn't find anything - could you please share who he is? Is he at Shar Gaden?

Also, who are the 10 directional protectors (are they all the Protectors)?

Thanks in advance!

cheers x

Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

WisdomBeing

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 10:13:53 AM »
I've just received this info from Shar Gaden (thank you Shar Gaden):

Many things happen on this religious event: On the 1st day, there will be a half-day session which is a preliminary. On the 2nd, 3rd, 5th days, the assembly recites mantras beginning with a Yamantaka self-generation and then Mahakala, Dharmaraja, Shri devi, Vaisravana, Setrap, Shugden etc with full of religious musical instruments; blow-horn, thighbone-trumpet, cymbals, bells drums etc

All the tormas (sacrificial cakes) are burnt on the last day as an indication of conclusion..

Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

DSFriend

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 11:03:51 AM »
I couldn't find anything on Yara Rinpoche..but found Chamdo Gyara Rinpoche. Are they the same person?

Losang_Tenpa

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Re: Gutor Festival at Shar Gaden
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2011, 01:15:50 PM »
I couldn't find anything on Yara Rinpoche..but found Chamdo Gyara Rinpoche. Are they the same person?

These are two different Rinpoches. Gyara Rinpoche is from the Chatring area of Tibet, and Yara Rinpoche is from Mongolia.

Both are here at Shar Gaden.