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by Madhav Srinivasan 1777 days ago

Losar is the celebration of the Tibetan New Year with its origins dating to the time prior to the Buddhist period. All the activities during this 3-day festival are closely associated with the theme of purification and driving away of evil. In 2012, Losar

In Tibet and parts of India and Nepal with a strong Buddhist population, the New Year is celebrated as Losar ‑ a festival that lasts for 3 days. Every year, Tibetans, Nepalis and people in the Indian states of Sikkim, Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh celebrate this festival during the month of February with the exact dates being calculated as per the lunar calendar. During this festival, people perform rituals at home and in the monasteries to drive away negativity even as they visit their friends and party with joy. So book your North East India holidays to enjoy this festival.



Losar originates from pre-Buddhist times when people in Tibet were followers of the Bon religion. During those times, celebrations were held during the winter season in which people sought to appease the deities of the place they inhabited with offerings of incense. These celebrations later evolved into the Buddhist festival Losar that people now celebrate annually during the month of February.


How is Losar Celebrated?

Losar celebrations are spread over a period of 3 days of spiritual observances with the first day being reserved for family rituals. About a month before the festival, people whitewash their houses and clean the interiors. They draw eight symbols that are considered auspicious in Buddhism on the walls of their houses using white powder. All these steps are believed to be effective in purifying the premises.

Lama Losar

On the first day called Lama Losar, everyone dresses in new clothing and perform rituals at home. During this ritual, an offering made with several grains such as sprouted barley seeds and a dish called ‘Tsampa’, which consists of a paste of roasted barley flour in butter. Special festival food is prepared and the family members dine together.

People greet each other with the words ‘Tashi Delek’, which means ‘best wishes.’ In the monasteries, the Dalai Lama and other priests conduct ceremonies to worship their dharma protectors ‑ the main one being Palden Lhamo. These ceremonies also include rituals to keep evil spirits at bay and purify the surroundings and are popular attraction for those taking up holiday tours of North India.

Gyalpo Losar and Choe-Kyong Losar

The second day is called Gyalpo Losar and on this day, national and local community leaders are honored. The third day is called Choe-Kyong Losar, and it is marked by the raising of prayer flags on house rooftops and mountains and the burning of leaves of the juniper plant and incense as an offering to the dharma protectors. People spend the second and third days of Losar visiting friends and relatives with gifts and by making offerings at local monasteries.


After devoting these 3 days to rituals and spiritual observances, people continue to celebrate the coming of the New Year with parties that include music, chanting and dancing for the next 15 days


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