Tibetan New Year Festival 2019/2020-Important Tibet Holiday
Tibetan New Year is the most significant festival in Tibet. Different areas have different ways to celebrate it, with Lhasa the most representative.
Tibetan New Year 2019 Date: Feb 5, 2019 on solar calendar
The most important festival in Tibet-Tibetan New Year
Tibetan New Year is, once again, upon us! Locally, it is known as Losar and is the most important holiday in Tibet. Losar is a 15-day festival, with the first 3 days filled with family, friends, and traditions that date back hundred of years. During this time Tibetans will cook special food, drink Tibetan barley wine, and visit Buddhist monasteries for prayers and New Year rituals. Losar coincides with the lunar calendar and is celebrated in the first lunar month of the year. Next year's celebrations are scheduled to begin on February 5th!
In anticipation of the New Year, the last day before Losar will be spent cleaning and preparing homes and monasteries alike. The first day of Losar is focused on family and offerings to the Dalai Lama. People will remain home and dress in their best attire to share a New Year feast! Food is an important part of the festival; monasteries will make special noodles, called Guthuk, out of grain and cheese to perform rituals with. People make dough balls filled with odd ingredients such as wool, chili peppers, rice, coal, and salt. When people find items inside the dough, it gives them insight into their character: salt is a good luck charm, a chili means that one is talkative, and coal can suggest that someone has a black heart.
On the second day, Tibetans venture out of their homes to visit friends and celebrate community and national leaders. Traditionally, the Dalai Lama and other dignitaries meet to exchange greetings and celebrate. On the third day people will make special offerings to deities by hanging prayer flags, burning incense, and chanting. Tibetan people will continue to celebrate the season even after the first three days by taking time away from their daily routine to attend parties and enjoy time with friends and family.
Losar is filled with special customs and prayers for good fortune in the New Year. The festival ends on Chunga Choepa, the Butter Lamp festival, after 15 days. Yak butter is sculpted (a sacred art in Tibet) and monks will perform purification rituals before displaying ornate and brightly colored works of art in monasteries. The New Year is an important time of year for Tibetans, it is a time to banish negativity and welcome auspicious energy. With Losar right around the corner, it’s a perfect opportunity to purify your soul by banishing negativity and welcoming in another year!