States Himachal Pradesh Fairs & Festivals Losar Festival

Losar Festival Himachal

A festival of happiness and prosperity, the Losar Festival is celebrated with great zeal and fervor in the Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh.

About Losar Festival Himachal

Boasting rich imagery, enchanting ritual dances and splendid cultural celebrations, the Losar Festival holds a special place in the lives of the people living in the Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh. The festival originated in Tibet during its pre-buddhist period, when it was known as the Agrarian Festival, as it was organized to celebrate the blossoming of the apricot trees.

An extravagant carnival that heralds the beginning of the Tibetan New Year, the Losar Festival sees the Buddhist settlements and monasteries in Lahaul get adorned with a wonderful and serene ambiance. This festival also celebrates the agricultural prosperity of the region. The first day of the festival is fondly known as the 'Lama Losar', or 'the Festival of the Guru'. Devotees worship His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is the spiritual head of the Tibetan people, on this sacred day, and take out lively processions in his honor. People thoroughly clean their houses to ward off evil spirits and prepare a special delicacy called the 'Ghutuk', which is shared and eaten with great joy.

The most unique and awe-striking feature of this Tibetan festival is the 'Chham Dance', which is a masked dance performance associated with some sects of Tibetan Buddhism. Dancers wearing colorful costumes and elaborate masks perform this mesmerizing 'Devil Dance' to tell the tale of the death of the cruel Tibetan King Langdarma in the 9th century, which signified the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Another unique and beautiful ritual of Losar festival is the lighting of butter lamps by the lamas, with each lamp signifying Buddha's enlightenment. Tourists visiting this scenic abode are greeted with the amazing visual spectacle of the lit lamps, especially during the evening, and this scene leaves a long lasting impression on them.

Special Highlights of the Festival:

  • The Losar festival lasts for 15 days, with the main celebrations held on the first three days.
  • Many popular dishes and drinks are prepared during this festival like the 'Chang' (alcoholic beverage) and the 'Kapse' (cake).
  • A few days before the start of the Losar Festival, the occasion of 'khepa' is observed, when small branches of a thorny bush are fetched and kept on the doors of the houses to protect them from evil spirits.
  • The date of celebration of Losar Festival is decided by the lamas according to the lunar calendar.
  • It marks the beginning of the winter season in Lahaul and Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh.

Festival Dates/Months

Losar Festival is celebrated annually during the first month of the Tibetan calendar, which usually falls between Mid-November and the first week of December.

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