Losar Festival Himachal Pradesh(Last Updated 16 May, 2023)
Himachal Pradesh is a land of rich cultural heritage and is renowned for its breathtaking beauty. However, there is much more to sightseeing and activities in Himachal Pradesh? The locals celebrate fairs and festivals in Himachal Pradesh with great zeal and vigor. Losar is one such festival of Himachal Pradesh in which you can partake and get glimpses of the diversity of the region.
This is a Tibetan- Buddhist festival that marks the arrival of the New Year. The word Losar breaks up into two words 'Lo' (New) and 'Sar' (Year). It is celebrated in Himachal Pradesh with pomp and show. With our Himachal tour packages, you can enjoy the Losar Festival and explore the state's popular attractions. Contact our travel experts for more information and to book a tour with us!
History of Losar Festival
Losar is a Tibetan festival that originated in the pre-Buddhist period when Tibetans followed the 'Bon' religion. This festival is carried out to celebrate the uniqueness of Tibetan ethnicity. Earlier known as the Agrarian Festival, it was organized when apricot trees blossomed. The monks decided the date of the festival according to the Tibetan lunar calendar.
Significance of Losar Festival
Losar Festival holds a religious significance for the local Tibetans residing in the towns of Himachal Pradesh. This festival is a celebration of harvesting crops in the new year. However, people celebrated the Losar Festival to ward off evil in the old days. It was a day to please the local deities. They believed that God would bring fortune and well-being to the community.
When is the Losar Festival Celebrated in Himachal Pradesh?
In 2023, the Losar Festival will take place on 21 February. Usually, this unique festival starts in late January-February as per the local Tibetan calendar. Losar Festival is celebrated in the entire tribal belt of Himachal Pradesh, where the Buddhist population lives.
Where is the Losar Festival Celebrated in Himachal Pradesh?
Buddhist settlements in Himachal Pradesh celebrate the Losar Festival. Some places that reverberate with the festive celebrations are - Dorje Drak Monastery in Shimla, Tsuglagkhang Temple in Mcleodganj, and Shashur Monastery in Spiti Valley.
How is the Losar Festival Celebrated?
The Losar Festival in Himachal Pradesh is celebrated for three days:
Day 1 - Lama Losar This day begins with the aroma of Tibetan culinary treats prepared for the festival. Next, houses are made spick and span and adorned colorfully. People also hand thorn branches at their doors to ward off negative energy. Later, devotees visit monasteries and worship their spiritual head - the Dalai Lama.
Day 2 - King's Losar A special dance called 'Chham' is performed today, for which dancers wear masks, intricate headgear, and colorful costumes. The dance showcases how the evil king - Langdarma was killed in the 9th century. 'Methi', the procession also takes place on this day. People carry flaming torches and chant slogans to bid adieu to the previous year. Later, the torches are thrown away to prevent evil from entering the community. People also seek the blessings of the monks and offer them gifts.
Day 3 - New Year's Day On the third day, people get dressed in new clothes. Everyone visits the monasteries to pray and participate in the festivities. Families get together for dinner, which includes 'Kapse', a type of cake. Dinner is enjoyed with a special alcoholic drink called 'Chang'.
What Not to Miss During the Losar Festival?
- Savor Guthuk (a noodle and dumpling soup).
- Visit ancient monasteries that breathe festivity.
How to Reach Himachal Pradesh?
By Air: Gaggal-Kangra, Bhuntar-Kullu, and Jubbarhatti-Shimla airports provide easy access to various destinations in the state. Chandigarh airport and Pathankot airport are the neighboring airports.
By Train: Kalka Shimla rail line, Pathankot - Joginder Nagar Railway Line, and Una Himachal Railway Line connect Himachal Pradesh with the neighboring cities.
By Road: Buses of Himachal Road Transport Corporation ply daily from the neighboring cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Kalka, and Jaipur. Apart from buses, tourists can book taxis to travel to their favorite destinations.
The Losar Festival thus paints the snowy-white expanses of Himachal Pradesh with hues of festivities, flavors of authentic dishes, and a color riot. This is a treat for culture connoisseurs. To delight in the Buddhist culture and traditions, add Losar Festival to your bucket list.
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