Tibetan New Year

April 22nd, 2010  |  Published in Field Notes

Losar, or the Tibetan New Year, is the most important festival in the Tibetan calendar. In Tibetan, lo means “year” and sar means “new.” Losar is determined according to the lunar calendar, and often falls sometime in February or March. It is traditionally celebrated for weeks, but nowadays it is celebrated for three days.

Most Tibetans go home for Losar, as it is a family holiday. For Tibetans, Losar is like Christmas, New Year, and a birthday celebration all rolled into one. Older relatives offer money and gifts to the younger members of the family, and everyone spends time together feasting, dancing, and singing. Tibetans dress in new clothes and make a point to go on pilgrimage to monasteries or invite monks to their homes to do blessings.

Monks giving a blessing in a home for Losar

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