Losar 2024

10 February 2024
Sikkim    Regional holiday

Losar means New Year in Tibetan. It is the first day of the first month of the Tibetan lunar calendar. Losar celebration is one the most festive periods of the year observed with a lot of religious, cultural and merrymaking events for a week or two. Losar celebration is the time when one could witness and taste the best of the Tibetan culture and delicacies. Men, women, and children are in the best of their traditional attires. Colourful prayer flags flutter from the top of the houses, monasteries and the hills around. Unfortunately, Tibetans in Tibet are not allowed to observe it fully, because China sees a large gathering of Tibetans and celebration of Tibetan identity and its rich culture as a threat to the communist regime.

Although, it is celebrated in parts of Ladakh, Himachal, Uttaranchal, Sikkim and the places with the Tibetan population in India. Losar is celebrated for different lengths of time in accordance with the local tradition, but the first three days of Losar are considered very significant. The first day is said to be Lama-Losar, people visit monasteries, pay respect to the Lamas and receive their blessings. The first day is usually spent with family members only. The second day is said to be Gyalpo-Losar. Gyalpo means king representing authority, official public celebrations are done on this day. The third day is known as Chokyong-Losar. Chokyong means the guardian deities, on this day prayer flags, are hoisted on the hills and around the houses. Guardian deities are propitiated and supplication prayers are read.

It is a festive time for the people following Buddhism. It marks the starting of a new year and is celebrated with happiness and freshness in the hearts of everybody.