Losar the Tibetan New Year: An affair to remember
S Henlly Phom
Dimapur, March 4
The daily crowded market or if not the prominent ‘Hongkong Market’ of Dimapur wore a deserted look on Monday and Tuesday with shutters down confounding the shoppers to see their favourite market closed.
On closer enquiry, it was on account of the Losar, Tibetan word for New Year. Lo holds for ‘year, age’ and sar holds for ‘new, fresh’. The festival is marked with ancient ceremonies that represent the struggle between good and evil.
Around 210 Buddhists community comprising Tibetans, Nepali’s and Bhutias dressed in their traditional ‘Chupa’ on Tuesday gathered at their community hall located near Blue Hill Station Dimapur to mark one of their sacred festivals.
“According to the Tibetan lunar calendar, Losar is the first day of the New Year and is traditionally celebrated by Tibetans in a big way,” said Tenzing Bhutia.
Talking to Eastern Mirror, he highlighted that Tibetans/Buddhists around the world celebrate their Losar on a particular date and month chosen by the astrologer and this time- is the Year of 2141 for them according to their calender.
The two-day celebration was marked by different occasions in the city. On the first day, families spent time to observe their auspicious day and the second day was observed with the entire community coming together as one family, offering prayer and dining together, taking days off from their daily business activities.
This year’s celebration would be a blissful one for this community as they are celebrating after a gap of three years. In order to protest against atrocities in China-occupied Tibet, the Buddhists community did not celebrate their most important Losar festival for three years.
The community hall was filled with young and old alike dressed in their traditional Chupa, with Monks on the altar leading the prayer and the community on the floor chanting prayers along with their Monks. With the celebration happening after almost three years, the celebration this year promises more colour than ever before.
A certain amount of humour is provided by events such as the dance and music. Losar Festival is characterised especially by dancing, music, and a general spirit of merrymaking. At the end of their prayers, the community gathered on the roof top tossing their traditional so called ‘Lhagya’ in the air with the believing of bringing good luck to them for the years ahead.