Losar Festival: Everything About Tibetan New Year!!!

S Venkateshwari
Losar Festival: Everything About Tibetan New Year!!!

In Tibetan, 'Lo' means year and 'Sar' means new, therefore 'Losar' literally means "New Year". Losar, which is celebrated with great fervor by Tibetan Buddhists and adherents of the Tibetan calendar, is a festival of immense cultural significance in Tibet. The celebration is eagerly anticipated by Tibetan populations around the world as well as in sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, India.  On the new moon day, which marks the beginning of the first month in the Tibetan calendar, the festival gets underway. It is called "Gyalpo Losar" in Tibetan, which means "King's New Year."

Losar is a time for socializing and feasting, when friends and family get together to share food and beverages.  People make sacrifices to the gods and pray during the celebration in order to ask for blessings and peace for the upcoming year.

Thukpa ChickenNoodle soup made on New Year's Eve, known as "guthuk," is a special Losar dish from Tibet. This is a traditional dish that is a spin on the popular Thukpa Bhatuk dinner from Tibet. Devotees take part in the Metho march on Losar evening. Leading the procession through the marketplaces and streets, they sing religious phrases while holding fire torches. 

The Losar festival in sikkim marks the beginning of the tenth month in the Tibetan calendar and the end of the harvest season. Over the course of three days, the Monpa tribe from Arunachal Pradesh participates in the Losar celebration in Tawang. Renowned religious personalities in Tibetan buddhism recognized for their spiritual wisdom, called Lama Jogis, visit each home during the festival to bestow blessings on them.

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