Losar Festival is one of the most significant celebrations in the Tibetan calendar. This year the Losar festival starts on March 3 and ends on March 5 which coincides with the first day of the first month of the Tibetan lunar calendar.
The religious event is marked with ancient ceremonies that represent the struggle between good and evil.
The term ‘Losar’ means New year in the Tibetan language. ‘Lo’ means year and ‘Sar’ means new.

It begins on the day of a new moon that marks the first day of the first month on the Tibetan calendar. This is called Gyalpo Losar in Tibetan which means “King’s New Year”.
It is that time of the year when Tibetans and their homes are filled with the spirit of joy and jubilation. That time when one could witness and taste the best of the Tibetan cuisines and culture.

Men, women, and children are in their vibrant and colorful traditional attires. Colored flags flutters on top of the houses, monasteries, and hills.
The festival is not complete without offerings, flaming torches with fragrant smoke from juniper, artemisia, and other herbs, chanting slogans, incense, and cheerful greetings of ‘Tashi Delek’ among the excited youngsters and adults living it up.

Where is Losar Festival is celebrated in India?

Buddhist New year holds a lot of significance in India. For many years, places like Ladakh, Kinnaur, Spiti, Sikkim have been celebrating the Losar festival.

Losar Festival in Ladakh

Ladakh is undoubtedly one of the most amazing destinations to celebrate Losar Festival. When the landscape glitters in snowy delight, Ladakh prepares for Losar in winters. At the arrival of Ladakh, it welcomes you with posters of ‘Happy Losar’ that locals stick on the streets and outside their homes.
Namgyal Monastery is the main location where Losar is celebrated hugely.
If you want to attend the masked dance performances, Hemis Monastery in Ladakh is a nice place to witness the masked Cham Dance.

Losar in North East India

Losar festival is celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

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Losar Festival in Sikkim

It marks the conclusion of the harvest season in Sikkim. It is also the end of the tenth month of the Tibetan year. The celebration amongst the locals begins with the cleansing of the house.
They discard their old items and indulge in the decorations of their house. The major highlight in their celebration is locals chanting prayers in the monasteries in Sikkim.

Losar Festival in Arunachal Pradesh

The Losar festival in Arunachal Pradesh is celebrated by the Monpa tribe. It is celebrated in Tawang. The Losar festival is a three-day festival in Arunachal Pradesh.
Although the celebrations are all the same with music, folk, metho but this interesting show of events is a must-watch experience.
This enthusiastic celebration is also celebrated in Nepal.

Metho Ceremony

All set to banish the evil spirits and bring positivity in the new year? Well, the metho ceremony in the Losar festival is believed to clean the spirits. The chants and sacred fire touch in the metho ceremony are said to cleanse the evil spirits and paves way for the holy spirit in the town.

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Red Envelopes for Kids

Red envelopes with money are gifted to children at Losar. This tradition is a little similar to the Chinese Spring festival where children are given money in a red envelope by their relatives. It is a gesture of wishing them a prosperous new year ahead. It is believed that these red envelopes protect the children from malevolent spirits, sickness, and death.

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Guthuk- Special traditional noodle soup

Preparing Guthuk is one of the most exciting things to do during the Losar festival. It is a traditional noodle soup which is a variation of the common dish.
Thukpa Bhatuk is a Tibetan cuisine that includes small bhatsa noodles. On the eve of Losar, Thukpa bhatuk is transformed into Guthuk.

Guthuk contains nine ingredients that include ginger, beef, mutton, dried cheese, spinach, beef stock, tomatoes, radish, onions, peas, garlic, etc. Each bowl of Guthuk contains nine balls of dough which are made from barley flour. Each dough contains a small item that bears a special meaning to predict the eaters’ New year’s fortune.

Things inside may be raw bean, wool, wood, a pebble, chili, charcoal, folded paper, and many other items. When Guthuk is consumed on Losar it symbolises getting rid of negativities of the past year and inviting positivity into the new year.

Further Read: Magh Bihu 2022: Significance and wishes to share with loved ones



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