Tamu Losar 2024

30 December 2024
Sikkim    Regional holiday

The Tamu, or Gurung, people of central Nepal celebrate their new year annually on the public holiday called “Tamu Losar”. This is a time of great family gatherings, feasts, and joyful cultural events. The holiday is based on local calendar systems but tends to fall near the end of December, not far from Gregorian New Years Day.

The major celebration takes place in Kathmandu and surrounding cities and villages on or near 30 December, which is the fifteenth day of the month “Poush” on the Gurung Calendar. This date is considered to mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring in Nepal. The main cultural events include colourful parades, songs and dance, exhibitions of humour and skills, and the consumption of delicious festive foods like rice-flour doughnuts and “achaar”, a kind of hot and spicy pickle. Food stalls line the streets in Kathmandu and other localities for three days on end, and everyone gets a taste of traditional dishes from around various regions and from different families.

Many continue to celebrate for a full week at home, even when the official events have ended, and it is common to stay up and outside each day till the stars can be seen in the night sky. Abiding the lunar calendar Tamang, Magar, Gurung and other Himalayan communities of Nepal celebrate Tamu Lhosar as their New Year during the month of December. Monasteries are attractively adorned with colourful decorative items.

People take blessings from monks for their progress, prosperity and happiness. Each home raises a flag on top of its roof. A party is organized at home and invitations are forwarded to relatives and friends. Delicious food, music and dance become the essence of the party. Greetings and gifts are exchanged.