Losar Festival in Leh Ladakh
Losar is a Tibetan word which means ‘New Year’. Losar is considered as one of the most beautiful festival in Ladakh. This festival is celebrated for the 15 days in which 3 days were the main days. This festival is celebrated by dancing, singing and feasting in monastery. This festival is celebrated from the time period when Buddhism religion started. But before the Buddhist religion, ‘Bon’ festival is celebrated. These two festivals merge together and combined known as Buddhist Losar festival.
This festival started in 17th century when King Jamyang Namgyal was ruling at Ladakh. He was setting an expedition on Balti force but was advised, not to do it on the eve of New Year. Just to please the public, he shifted the date two months before the actual date. That why Ladakh New Year is celebrated on the 1st day of 11th lunar month.
The Losar festival is celebrated with pomp and show. This festival shows the rich culture of the Ladakh. The preparation for this festival is started one month before the main day. Lots of preparation is made for this festival and this festival shows many customs and rituals. These rituals are performed by the Buddhists in festivals. Losar festival is celebrated with dance, music and feast. People are very excited at the arrival of this festival. People paint their home and decorate it. All holy images and houses are lighted in the night. Ibex, symbol of fertility, is hanged on the doors and kitchen walls for good lucks and prosperous life.
On the day of Losar, ‘Methi’ a huge procession, is planned which is taken out in streets and bazaars, which makes the people very lively. People torch the lights and enchant the slogans, which move out of the town. There people through the light and bid farewell to old year and welcome the new year with open hands. On this day, people wear the bright color clothes and visit holy places. They take the blessing of the lord. After offering the prayer to god, they offer gifts to the monks and nuns in the monastery.