Jigmi Wangdi

Approximately 750 children took part in the age-old tradition of reciting lolay to usher in the Nyilo around Thimphu over the past two days.

The practice, primarily in the western region, celebrates beginning of the new year.

The Nyilo, according to the Bhutanese calendar, signifies the day when the duration of sunlight increases, indicating the onset of longer days until the summer solstice.

The participating children were organised into groups in 11 different locations spanning from Pangrizampa to Chamgang in Thimphu.

The Zhung Dratshang, in collaboration with the Desuung Nangchoe Programme, supports the tradition of children reciting lolay. This month-long orientation and training programme, conducted annually since 2016, focuses on Buddhism and culture.

Drungtsho Tandin, the programme coordinator, highlighted that the children are not only taught to recite lolay but also receive education on religious studies, prayers, yoga, and even basic cooking skills.

Drungtsho Tandin said that the children collectively earned approximately Nu 6,00,000 this year. Half of this amount will be distributed among the children, while the other half will be utilised for their provisions until the conclusion of the program.

Zumsel Tshering Chophel, an eight-year-old participant with three years of experience in the program, expressed joy in being part of such a longstanding tradition.

Karma Jurme Drakpa, a 13-year-old newcomer to the programme, expressed pride in contributing to the continuation of this ancient tradition among children and expressed a desire to participate every year moving forward.

The programme, initiated on December 25, is scheduled to conclude on January 25.