2 January 2015: A group of children from schools in Thimphu recited lolay to mark Nyilo, (Winter Solistice in the lunar calendar) before His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen at the Lingkana Palace.
Nyilo (marking the return of longer days according to the lunar calendar) is traditionally observed as the new year, coinciding with the annual harvest in parts of Western Bhutan. Lolay is the recitation of a traditional song with wishes for a happy and bountiful new year. Children are believed to be harbingers of good fortune, and their recitation of lolay consists of wishes specific to every component of a traditional Bhutanese home from the ground to the tip.
The children go from house to house, singing wishes to usher in a prosperous new year, and are granted gifts.
For the past few years, children in Thimphu have celebrated Nyilo every year with a lolay recitation before Their Majesties at the Lingkana Palace.