In 2023, Losar falls on February 21st.
Losar, also known as Tibetan New year, is the most important Buddhist festival for celebrating the coming of New Year and harvest season. It falls on the first day of the first month of the Tibetan lunisolar calendar (in February or March).
Losar is popularly celebrated in the Himalayan region, lasting for about 15 days (February 19th to March 5th in 2023). It is a public holiday for Tibet Autonomous Region in China, Nepal, Bhutan, and the state of Sikkim in India. Other areas celebrating Losar in India include Leh-Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling, and Himachal Pradesh.
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Losar 2023 Celebrations Schedule in India
The main Losar celebrations begin two days before the day of Tibetan New Year and end on the that day with prayers, ceremonies, dancing, and family reunions.
Day 1 (February 19th in 2023): Lama Losar — Cleaning Homes and Cooking
People clean their home/room thoroughly and prepare a special Tibetan festive noodle soup called gu-thuk (‘nine noodle soup’). Families visit monasteries to participate in chanting prayers, pay respect to the lamas, and receive blessings. A beer-based beverage named changkoi is distributed to people gathered on this day.
Day 2 (February 20th in 2023): Gyalpo Losar — Tibetan New Year's Eve
The last day of the Tibetan calendar is a time for holding religious ceremonies. People go to pray and offer gifts to the monks. The monks do a protector deities' puja (ceremony) to drive out evil spirits. At night, people celebrate with fire crackers and fire torches. It is believed that this will scare away the evil spirits.
Day 3 (February 21st in 2023): Choe-Kyong Losar — Tibetan New Year’s Day
On the first day of the new year, people rise early, bath, and wear new clothes. Housewives wake up before sunrise and head to nearby rivers to get their first bucket of clean water. This is believed to bring good luck to the family. Then people place water and offerings on their household altars to ensure a good harvest in the new year.
On Tibetan New Year’s Day, the family members gather together to have a reunion dinner, give gifts to each other, and enjoy a happy family time.
Though the festival ends on this day, the celebrations run on for 12 more days. These festivities include visiting visit friends and relatives on the second day of the new year and enjoying chanting, dancing, music, and rituals at local monasteries.
Losar Dates from 2021 to 2030
Losar falls on the first day of the first month of the Tibetan lunisolar calendar, half a lunar month to 1½ lunar months before the spring solstice, i.e. sometime from early February to early March.
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