Losar Festival is considered as the beginning of the New Year and it is considered as one of the most important festivals of Tibet/Ladakh region. At the time of this festival, Ladakhi Buddhist make religious offerings before the deities in domestic shrines or Gompas.
A medley of ancient rituals, cultural events as well as traditional performances are performed at the time of the festival. You can also enjoy the stage fight between evil and good, battles between ministers and kings, ibex deer dancing and much more. There’s also the music accompanied with friends and relatives and joy all around. Every year the festival as well as the location of the festival changes.
History of Losar Festival
The dates of Losar Festival is back to a pre-Buddhist era in Tibet. As per the traditions in the ancient period, a spiritual ceremony used to get conducted every year in winters. At the time of the ceremony, people offer incense to propitiate the local spirits and deities. Later on, yearly Buddhist festival started during the time of ninth Tibetan King called PudeGungyal.
Ahead of the actual date of the eagerlyawaited festival, the locals keep themselves busy with all kinds of preparations. The arrangements with rehearsals for the performances during the festival get started.
At the time of Losar Festival, people start to clean their houses discarding old and unused materials so that all the evils are warded off from life and prosperity and well-being for so many preparations. There are bright as well as colorful decorations everywhere and also the lavish offerings known as ‘Lama Losar’ are made.
How festivities unfold?
On the festival day, monks from the Namgyal monastery make religious offerings from early morning itself to Goddess PaldenLhamo which is also considered to be the supreme authority of Dharma protectors.
On the second day which is known as King’s Losar, a gathering is done within the hall of Excellence of Nirvana and Samsara. The government and his holiness welcome the dignitaries and also exchange the greetings with them. Representatives from different countries such as Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Nepal, and India among others attend the celebrations.
From the third day, the local people and monks start celebrations and join the festivities with gay abandon.
Duration and dates of the festival
The vibrant and most popular festival is held for 15 days during the months from January to March. Actual dates are fixed according to the Lunar calendar. In the year 2012, the festival was celebrated on 22nd February.
Watching and taking part in the festivities of Losar Festival is the experience of a lifetime. Also, you may enjoy rafting, yak safari as well as trekking over the mountains filled with snow in Leh. This will surely remain in your memories for a longer period.