Losar Losar is the name of the festival which is celebrated by the Tibetans. This celebration came into being since the time prior to the Buddhist period. This is a celebration which goes for three days. The main objective of the celebration is to get rid of the evil power and to make their lives more vibrant and successful. They believe that the celebration empowers them and purifies their sole. Not only in Himachal but also in all the regions including Nepal where there is extensive population of Buddhism, these people inaugurate New Year with the celebration of Losar. This celebration defines their region and the unity among them. Such types of celebrations increases the integrity among themselves sand makes their religion stronger. This celebration is celebrated every year, no matter whatever the circumstances are. This is followed with the dates shown in the lunar calendar. In India every religion celebrates the New Year in one way or the other. The only aim is to celebrate the arrival of New Year with a hope that it would prove to be a beneficial year. This very celebration is celebrated by performing the traditional rituals at home and of course in the Monasteries to fade away the negativity and all the evil power which demolishes the human effort and make them pervert from inside. Celebrating such trends belonging to old races makes you feel refreshed now and then. You feel like you are reborn with a new horizon, new life to empower and relish your thoughts and to make your future more bright and you move with others towards the eternity. These three days are celebrated by visiting the loved ones/friends and have a party with joy and after that all of them carry with their daily work. So, you can think that how much integrity that can inculcate among the people performing such celebration. Their traditional dance is performed in their distinct dressing codes and the way they perform it is really terrific.
History of the Losar Well, as stated above that this celebration is celebrated from the pre-Buddhist times when the people of that time were the followers of the religion termed as Bon. That time people used to celebrate the three days in the winters with the offerings to their native places. This trend was propelled with time and till today the celebrations are made with the same thinking and action. One can see that the people haven't changed the style in this very fast changing dynamic world. Still, the sense of belongingness to their old custom and tradition lasts in their sole, which is a good sign for living life in a cool and calm manner. Such traditions remained in the Buddhists even today even we they have experienced many invasions from time to time by different rulers. The rulers exploited them much but their custom didn't change even a bit. That shows the firmness of the people towards their religion. It is sufficient to prove that Buddhists are firm believers of their customs and to no one can break their thoughts and this finally helps in building a strong nation as a whole. These celebrations with the passage of time evolved into the Buddhist festival names as Losar that people now celebrate every year during the month of February. This is the available information about the history of the celebration.
How Buddhists celebrate Losar? The celebrations goes for complete three consecutive days. The first day is spent to make each and individual family rituals. All of their customs regarding spiritual act for their families is performed. As you are aware that before celebrating any of the festivals/celebrations it is a custom in India to white wash their house and to clean the interiors; very similar to that these people start to perform all these household tasks prior a month to prepare the home for this celebration. There is an old belief that the spiritual actions can only be performed at the places which are clean since the spiritual power always resides in such places. They design the very distinct eight signs on their walls with the help of white powder that is treated to direct God to their premises. All these steps are performed in order to purify the house and to remove all the evil power residing inside. India is a home of religions and even different people reside here with their customs and values but only such celebrations bind them together in one nation. Such celebrations are always encouraged by the government of the state and they try to make every effort to make these celebrations more memorable by providing subsidies to the people in various fields.
What is Lama Losar? Well, this is nothing but the name given to the first day of this three day celebration. This day signifies the beginning of the three day celebration and the people wear new clothes and start the celebration by performing their rituals at their own home. The main action performed on the very first day is to offer several grains for an instance sprouted barley seeds and a very famous dish of this place termed as 'Tsampa', which is made up of paste of roasted barley flour mixed with butter. This is their special festival dish and after performing all the tradition work the whole family dines together. People greet each other by saying 'Tashi Delek' that signifies Best Wishes. Well that was the procedure to be performed in the homes of an individual. In the monasteries, the Dalai Lama and other priests conduct ceremonies to worship their religion protectors. The important among all is named as Palden Lhamo. These types of ceremonies mainly comprises of rituals again to keep the evil apart from the lives and to have God reside inside. The monasteries are also cleaned before such celebrations are conducted.
Importance of Gyalpo Losar and Choe-Kyong Losar. These are the second and the third know as respectively. The reason for giving all the three days different names is just to distinguish each of them. On the second day all the leaders which include national and local community are honored. They are honored because they are doing all their level best to provide everything which needs to be given to the common people. If any of the members performs some good deed he/she is also honored and praised for his act. The last but not the least day is celebrated by raising the prayer flags on the house rooftops and mountains, further the burning process of the leaves of the juniper plant is done and this all signifies to be the offering to the religion protectors. The second and the third day are spent by visiting to the houses of the relatives/friends and giving those gifts and sweets. This also includes the offering of things to the monasteries.
This all is not finished here. After performing such a custom for three consecutive days people spend rest of the fifteen days enjoying the parties and chanting. Henceforth, this is all associated to celebrate the New Year by the Buddhists in Himachal Pradesh.
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