Celebrate Lomba In Haa And Paro With Delicious Hoentay Dumplings
Hoentey is a must-try should anyone visit Haa in Bhutan.
By Staff Reporter | Daily Bhutan
For the folks living in the districts of Haa and Paro in Bhutan, Lomba is observed both as an agricultural festival which marks the end of the harvest season as well as a time to usher in a series of New Year celebrations.
It usually falls on the 29th day of the 9th lunar month of the Bhutanese calendar. This year, Lomba took place from 25-26 December.
Why do people in Haa and Paro celebrate Lomba?
Lomba is a very special occasion for the people of Haa and Paro.
Location of Haa and Paro.
Source: Map of Bhutan
Back in the old days, they considered this day as New Year’s Day which meant that one would automatically become a year older after Lomba.
It also signified a time when all their crops would have been harvested and they would take a break before they begin their next cycle of agricultural work again.
What do people do during Lomba?
During Lomba, families get together in their villages and treat themselves to delicious food and they would greet each other ‘Lolay’ which means ‘good new year’.
For this special occasion, the Haaps and Parops (people from Haa and Paro) make their special dish called ‘Hoentey’ (buckwheat dumplings) and distribute them to friends and relatives.
On top of that, it is customary to perform a small ceremony at home to ward off evil and to invoke good health, happiness, and prosperity for the New Year.
The celebrations are not only confined indoors. Step outside and you will find men play archery (dha) matches and other traditional games.
It is also not unusual to chance upon people singing a rhyme ‘Lolay Lolay’, thanking god for the good year they had as they make wishes for the New Year.
Hoentay – a must try
What makes Lomba unique is the New Year delicacy called Hoentey – a sweet buckwheat or refined flour dumpling stuffed with a mixture of turnip leaves, amaranth seeds (zimtse), cottage cheese as well as butter that is seasoned with chilli powder, onion and ginger.
As per tradition, only on the night of Lomba, Haaps eat Hoentey for dinner. However, because of how tasty it is, Hoentey has been gaining popularity and can be found in the menus of restaurants.