Losar - New year festival of the Himalayan Buddhists by Anurag Sharma
Losar or Logsar literally means "New Year." This festival is celebrated in Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Jammu & Kashmir.
Losar is the traditional new year of parts of Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet also. Tibetan population under Chinese occupation as well as the Tibetans in exile celebrate it as one of the most important festivals.
Depending on the region, Logsar festivities run for one to two weeks, first three days being the most important. The festival of Losar is celebrated with high spirit sharing the joy with family, friends and community.
Houses are cleaned and old household items are discarded to ward off evil and invite prosperity. Special offerings are made to Lord Buddha and family shrine deities. Religious symbols at houses and temples are painted. Guthuk and drinks are served on Losar.
In 2013, Losar festival begins on Monday February 11 and finishes on Monday February 25th.
© Anurag Sharma