Losar is the new year of the Mangolian people or known as the festival of the Highlanders as the most of the ethnic communities belonging to the mountains such as Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung and Thakali celebrate this festival with great joys, happiness and significance. It is one of the main festival of Nepal which is widely celebrated all over the Nation. Losar embarks the start of the new year to the different mangolian ethnicities and communities.
This festival is believed to be the celebrated from the pre Buddhist period. During that time, Tibetans followed the Bon religion and performed the spiritual ceremony every winter. During this ceremony, people burn large amount of incense and offer their praying to please the local spirits, deities and gods. The actual celebration of this festival started when an old woman named Belma introduced the measurement of time based on the moon’s phases. During this time, cultivation was also first introduced to Tibetan society. The people began to celebrate these new customs, inventions and abilities which have believed to lead to the celebration of Losar festival.
There are three types of Losar celebrated by different indigenous people of Nepal.
Tamu Losar is the New year celebrated by Gurung community. This festival embarks the beginning of the Tamu Sambat on the lunar calendar of the gurung community. It is celebrated on every 15 of Poush of the Bikram Sambat calendar. Gurungs from all over the nation celebrate this Losar on this day wear their own traditional clothes. The men wear Bhangra and girls wear Ghalek (red velvet blouse ) and lungi as a dress enhanced by the large gold earrings and stone necklaces.
Sonam Losar is the begining of the new era of the Tamang communities. They celebrate this day on the first day of the new moon on the month of Magh according to Bikram Sambat calendar. They wear their own traditional dress and perform their special dance called ”Tamang Selo”. Unlike other mangolian communities, Tamangs has their own tradition of counting year with an association of symbols of 12 different animals in which it starts with the rat and ends with Boar.
Gyalpo Losar is the celebration of new year by the Sherpa community of Nepal. This losar falls on the 29th day of the 12th month of the Nepali calendar. This Losar is celebrated almost for 2 weeks where they perform different rituals to please the god and ward off the demons from their lives. The main Losar festival is celebrated for first 3 days of the week. On the first day people drink the beverage called ”CHANGKOL” (a Tibetan beer). The second day is the main festival Gyalpo Losar and on the third day people gather around and have a big feast. They perform a traditional dance representing the battle between the King and the deer.
Losar is the new year of the mangolian society they begin with the mindset of ” WELCOMING THE NEW YEAR” by cleaning their houses and buying new clothes to wear on the occasion. On this day the monks performed rituals on the Buddhist monasteries and Stupa. The monasteries and Stupa are crowded with devotees to offer their prayings. The special kind of masked dance is performed to drive away the negative energy surrounding the people. It is also the opportunity for the people to gather around and enjoy the various delicacies. In this day official concert and street performance is organised in Tudikhel, a public ground in Kathmandu. Young generations gather around here in their cultural attire and perform their dance on their own specific songs.
Person visiting around this time can emerge themselves in the beautiful and mesmerizing culture of the indigenous community of our country.
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