Loser – Tibetan New Year Buddhist Festival in India

Although the celebration of Losar is largely a Tibetan tradition to bring in the New Year, and predates Buddhism, it is generally believed that during the reign of the ninth king of Tibet, King Pude Gungyal, it underwent a permutation to become an annual Buddhist festival.

Some believes that - In ancient times when the peach tree was in blossom, it was considered as the starting of a new year for them. As per Tibetan calendar in 1027 A.D. the first day of the first month came to be fixed as the day of New Year. On this New Year’s Day, families unite and ‘auspicious dipper’ is offered, and the auspicious words ‘Tashi Delek’ are greeted. This day is also an occasion, when Tibetan families reunite, to expect a fortune in the coming New Year and it is known as Losar.

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On the New Year’s Eve, Tibetans eats barley crumbed food with their families. After dinner, it is time of the Festival of Banishing Evil Sprits! Torches are lit and people run and yell in order to get rid of evil spirits from their homes. Before the dawn of the New Year’s Day, housewives fetch their first bucket of water to prepare breakfast. After dressing up, people open their doors and go to monasteries. On the third day, the prayer flag, which was hung up the year before will be replaced with a new one. Other folk activities will be held to celebrate the events.

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It is celebrated for a different number of days all over Asia, depending on the concentration of Buddhist population. In India Losar festival, is celebrated for three days, across many parts of Kashmir , Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim, among others. The meditative dance form of Chaam is an integral of feature of Losar as well, performed in monasteries all over the country, depictive of the victory of good over evil. Losar is celebrated in February month as per English calendar.

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