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The Tamang people, one of Nepal's major ethnic groups, mostly occupy the Langtang Valley. They mostly practice Tibetan Buddhism, although they are also greatly influenced by Animism and, to a lesser extent, Hinduism. Their name is a combination of the Tibetan words "Ta" (horse) and "Mang" (traders).
The Tamang originated in Tibet. Their forebears are said to have been a cavalry division under Tibetan King Srong-sen Gampo. When he attacked Kathmandu in the 7th century, several people lived along the path. In 1762, King Prithvi Narayan Shah captured their ancestral territories.
Tamangs are profoundly devout people. They have a high regard for their shamans, or 'Lama.' From birth through death, rituals are performed in their presence. The Damphu is a Tamang-only musical instrument. It resembles a tambourine and is utilized in all important rituals.
Tamang people eat a lot of rice. However, rice was traditionally limited due to the Tamang villages' position. As a result, rice is not commonly seen in Tamang cuisine. Furuala is a traditional Tamang dish. Buckwheat flour is deep-fried. Gundruk (fermented leafy green vegetables, primarily spinach) is quite popular. It can be eaten as a pickle or in soup.
What is the primary Langtang region festival?
Many beautiful festivals are celebrated in the Langtang region by both locals and pilgrims. Tarna Festival and Janai Purnima are two that stand out.
The Tarna Festival
Tarna is a one-of-a-kind celebration held in the Langtang area. It is observed on Bhadra Purnima, the full moon day of the month of Bhadra. Bhadra is a month in the Nepali calendar that falls between August and September. The celebration commemorates the conclusion of Guru Rinpoche's 600-year meditation in a cave in the Upper Langtang Valley. The event is located within and around a cave on the west side of the Lirung Glacier at 4,200m/13,860ft.
Guru Rinpoche was an Indian monk who is credited with helping to propagate Buddhism in Tibet. Guru Rinpoche translates as "dear instructor." Padmasambhava, which means "Born from a Lotus," was another name for him. He is credited with founding the Nyingma school of Buddhism. He is also said to have assisted in the construction of Samye Monastery, Tibet's first Buddhist monastery.
Janai Purnima is a significant Hindu religious feast. It also coincides with Bhadra Purnima, which occurs between August and September. Janai is a sacred thread that every Brahmin and Chhetri caste males are obliged to wear. It is composed of three cords that represent the intellect, body, and speech. The user is meant to control them by wearing a Janai.
The Janai is exclusively worn by men who have participated in Bratabandhan. It is a rite that represents the maturation of a youngster into a man ready to devote himself to his religion. The Janai is replaced or worn initially on Janai Purnima. Bathe to purify oneself and give gifts to their ancestors.
Thousands of pilgrims visit Gosainkunda during Janai Purnima. On that day, it is claimed that all Hindu deities descend to the lake. Taking a plunge in the lake is therefore an opportunity to grow closer to god.