The Journey

Tibetan Almanac

  • 49
  • Northeastern Tibet
  • 18th–19th century
  • Ninety-three folios, ink and color on paper; stitched binding; silk covers
  • H. 3 x W. 10in. (7.6 x 25.4 cm)
  • Newark Museum, Purchase 1936, Carter D. Holton Collection, 36.283

In the Tibetan culture, almanacs document broad societal concerns, such as best times for planting, harvesting, and moving one's herds. They also indicate and coordinate celebrations of the liturgical calendar, as certain days or months of the year are dedicated to particular deities' and saints' feast days, incense rituals, and distinctive pilgrimage events. The smaller boxed symbols on the right page of this almanac refer to seven planets—which, as in western traditions, are directly affiliated with the days of the week—and nine "houses" (sme-ba'i) that are believed to regulate rising and falling fortune.

PHOTO CREDIT: Richard Goodbody, Newark Museum

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