Losar is a Tibetan New Year which is also celebrated by the Sikkim people. This festival is one of the most important Buddhist festival and according to the Gregorian calendar and it is usually celebrated in the first week of February.
Losar 2014 Date : When is Losar?
- In 2012 Losar was celebrated on February 22nd
- In 2013 Losar is celebrated on February 13th
- In 2014 Losar is celebrated in February.
Losar Festival is also called the Sonam Losar Festival in Sikkim. Losar means New Year which is derived from two Tibetan words lo and sar which means new and year respectively. History of Losar dates back to pre-Buddhist period. It is believed that during pre-Buddhist period people used to perform a spiritual ceremony in winter season where they would burn many incense sticks to please the local spirits and deities. And when Buddhism arrived this tradition was incorporated in their practise and thus Losar was born.
How is Losar Celebrated in Tibet?
This festival is celebrated over a period of two weeks in Tibet. However in India festivities are restricted to three days, while the first day of the festivities is an family affair the last two days of the festivals are celebrated on the streets. During this festival people clean and decorate their homes with paintings of moon and sun. Eight different auspicious symbols are sketched on the walls with white powder representing the different offerings made by the Gods to the Buddha which are the parasol, two golden fish, the conch shell, the lotus blossom, the banner of victory, the vase, Dharma Wheel and the eternal knot. People also hang the images of ibex on the doors and walls of the kitchen.
Houses and shrines are illuminated, new clothes are stitched for the occasion and old differences are resolved. On the first day of the new year the lady of the house cooks a pot of barley before dawn and when the sun rises she fetches a bucket of water from a nearby well or river. This water is considered very sacred. The second day of Losar is known as King’s and this day is for visiting friends and family. At night people burn torches and whirl in the homes. This is to ward off evil spirits and other misfortune from entering their homes. And on the third day people visit monasteries and offer prayers. Monasteries are adorned with finest decorations during this time. Ibex deer dance is a main attraction during Losar. Dramatic representations like the war between the king and his ministers and the war between the god and evil are staged during Losar. Losar is a time to feast and celebrate.