Fast Facts :
Situated : Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
Famous as : (Tibetan New Year)
Festive Month : December
Losar Festival :
The History of this Losar Festival is very interesting. As the story moves in the dawn of the 17th century, King Jamyang Namgyal was determined to lead an excursion opposing the Balti force in the winter. He was of the idea that any excursion prior to the New Year would be lucky. He had preponed the celebration by 2 months, which the traditional people follow and celebrated it every year on the first day of the 11th month.
Losar Festival is celebrated by all the residents of Ladakh and is a great example of the socio religious Culture. This festival comprises the whole population of the region. The rites and rituals are the blend of pre Buddhists and Buddhist religious practice. The preparation for this event begins from the end of the harvesting period when all of them start stocking up sheep’s, goat and provisions for the enormous meal and also stock up the local bear known as Chang.Jewelleries and new clothes are purchased for this occasions.
The beginning of the festivals marks on the twenty ninth of the tenth month with miniature of shrines and buildings. The goats and sheeps are slaughtered to exaggerate the evening feast.
The Newyear starts with the greetings and dedication offered to the gods.The elders are visited with presents and Khatak also known as ceremonial scarf.The young lot ventures out to pay homage to other families.There is a carnival which takes place in the adjoining village where it seems to be people in colorful attire .It is habitual that the Christians and Muslims in Leh pay homage to their Buddhist friends during the auspicious Losar Festival.
Images of auspicious symbols, ibex are installed in the front of the door, walls of the culinary section and at the end of the central wooden colomn.Ibex is considered to be the mark of fertility and prosperity. The Ibex are also moulded into small images made from dough, it is believed that this brings good luck.
The Method ceremony takes place in the evening .The streets and bazaars of Leh gets lit up as the processions carrying flaming torches slashes through the road and people enchanting slogans to shoo off hungry ghosts and evil spirits out of the place.This creates a fantastic blend of light and fire.At the end of this festival torches are casted off away from the town, as this gestures the farewell to the former year and welcomes the new year.