Relax here: Tibetan New Year



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New Year's resolution fall by the wayside? You'll get a second chance this weekend with the celebration of Losar, the Tibetan New Year. Since the Tibetan system uses a lunisolar calendar (based on the phases of the moon), Sunday is not in fact February 14, but the first day of year 2137, Year of the Iron Tiger. If all those paper hearts and candy are driving you nuts, there's a more wholesome alternative. The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art (338 Lighthouse Ave off Richmond Rd, Staten Island; 718-987-3500, is hosting a three-day series of seminars and traditional Losar rituals, starting off with today's Tea Ceremony (4--6pm, $25). Unlike Japanese tea ceremonies, the Tibetan Losar ritual encourages you to focus your thoughts on compassion, kindness and joy—all generally good things, we might add—as participants march up in pairs to pour tea from a pitcher into an overflowing cup. But the tea is never drunk, and just like birthday candles, your positive thoughts and wishes for the New Year needn't be spoken aloud. All you really have to do is enjoy the pretty altar, join in the chanting and project some positivity into the (second) New Year ahead of you. Guiding the ceremony will be Lama Karma Namgyel, who became a monk at the age of seven, and now teaches language classes at the Drukpa Mila Center in Colorado. Tashi delek!

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