Monday, February 11, 2013

Joyous Tibetan Buddhist New Year (Losar) – February 11-25, 2013

Tibetan Prayer Flags

(CHAKRA) Losar, also known as Tibetan New Year is celebrated mainly by Tibetans for fifteen days. Losar commemorates miracles performed by Lord Buddha. Activities consists of rituals, dances, and sculptures are offered to drive out evil spirits and to protect and benefit all sentient beings. Celebrations end on Chotrul Duchen.

The main celebrations take place on the 1st 3 days. On the 1st day, a drink called changkol is made from chhang (similar to beer). The 2nd day of Losar is known as King’s Losar (gyalpo losar). Losar is traditionally preceded by the five day practice of Vajrakilaya. It often falls on the same day as the Chinese New Year (sometimes with one day or occasionally with one lunar month difference). Losar is culturally more related to Tsagaan Sar in Mongolia than the Chinese New Year festival. Although Losar is mainly celebrated by Tibetans worldwide, it is also celebrated by some Yolmo, Sherpa, Tamang, Bhutia communities.

Losar celebrations predates Buddhism in Tibet and can be traced back to the pre-Buddhist Bön period. However, Losar later evolved into an annual Buddhist festival which is believed to have originated during the reign of Pude Gungyal, the ninth King of Tibet.

The Chakra Team would like to wish all Buddhists and Tibetans a Joyous Losar and New Year in 2013.


NOTE: It is also Chinese New Year--the year of the Black Water Snake. May it be auspicious for everyone!

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