Sonam Losar in Nepal in 2022

Sonam Losar in Nepal in 2022
An Indigenous girl from the Gurung community wearing traditional attire dance while taking part in a New Year's celebration ceremony against the backdrop of Mount Machapuchre. Image by socialtours nepal , via Flickr

  How long until Sonam Losar?
Sonam Losar
  Dates of Sonam Losar in Nepal
2022 Nepal Wed, Feb 2 National Holiday
2019 Nepal Tue, Feb 5 National Holiday
2018 Nepal Fri, Feb 16 National Holiday

Tibetan New year, also known as Losar, is the most important festival in the Tibetan calendar

  Sonam Losar in other countries
Sonam Losar internationally

Sonam Losar in Nepal

This holiday is known as Sonam Lohosar in Nepal and is a public holiday. It may be celebrated on a different day in India and Nepal depending on how the lunar calendar is interpreted.

When is Losar?

Losar is Tibetan New Year and marks the start of the Tibetan year which is based on a 12 lunar month calendar. The day it falls on is very close to the date of Chinese New Year. The date each year is determined by astrologers based in Dharmsala, India.

The Tibetan calendar is in use throughout the Himalayan region and the New Year is a public holiday in Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. It is a regional holiday in the state of Sikkim in India.

History of Losar

Losar means New Year (lo - year, sar - new) in Tibetan. It is the most important festival in the Tibetan calendar.

The origins of Losar can be traced back to pre-Buddhist period and the Bon religion and was most likely celebrated to mark the winter solstice. To mark the beginning of the end of Winter, festivities included offering large quantities of incense to the local spirits and deities. When the region converted to Buddhism, the date was shifted by Buddhist monks to match up with their lunar calendar.

The Tibetan New Year period lasts for fifteen days, with the first three days and New Year's Eve being the main celebrations

On Tibetan New Year's Eve, a custom is making a special noodle dish called guthuk. In the dish are dumplings with different ingredients inside them. Finding a certain ingredient is a light-hearted omen for the coming year. Finding a white coloured ingredient such as rice or salt is considered a good omen; finding a pebble means good luck; finding a chilli means the person is talkative and finding a black ingredient means you have are 'black-heated'. Interestingly, in some European Christmas customs, finding coal in your presents means the same thing.

On Tibetan New Year's Eve, the monks do a protector deities' puja (ceremony) to drive out evil spirits. and begin preparations for the Losar celebrations.

On the first day of the new year, people rise early and place water and offerings on their household altars to ensure a good harvest.

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