Tamu is another name of GURUNG community of Nepal and Losar means New Year. Tamu Losar is celebration of Gurung’s New Year. Tamu are indigenous inhabitants of west-central parts of Nepal. Some also live east of Kathmandu. There are numerous clans of Gurung, the members of which are all well known for their valor, humor, singing and dancing skills. Their warm welcome and hospitality at the Losar celebration were evident from the plates with sel roti (rice flour donuts) and achaar (spicy pickles) being distributed around. The Tamu Losar marks the beginning of the Tamu Sambat or Gurung Calendar Year.
Gurungs divide time into cycles of 12 years (lohokor), to each year of which a special name is given, which is known as barga (lho). Losar also heralds the change in ‘Lho’. According to the oriental astrological system, there are 12 lhos–garuda, serpent, horse, sheep, monkey, bird, dog, deer, mouse, cow, tiger and cat. Therefore, each year is marked by a particular animal and they are arranged in a single circle (on paper), closely following the Tibetan calendar with its’ 12 animals. In early days, when there was no calendar system in Nepal, the 12 rotation system was used to calculate peoples’ ages.