Lhosar Celebrations of Nepal

06 Feb

Aroma of fresh Crispy ‘Kapsye’, and delicious ‘Baver’, colourful prayer flags waving on top of the houses, happy faces and chilly cold weather are among few things that simply describe the arrival of Lhosar in Nepal. The word Lhosar means New Year or beginning of a new era.

In Nepal, the Buddhist community celebrates three different Lhosars: Tamu Lhosar in Dec/Jan, Sonam Lhosar in Jan/Feb and Gyalpo Lhosar in Feb/Mar.

Tamu Lhosar (Gurung Lhosar) – Dec. 30, 2021

Tamu is another name of Nepal’s Gurung family. Tamu Lhosar is the beginning of the Sambat Tamu according to the Gurung calendar. The day usually falls in the mid of Poush at the end of December. Gurung communities in different parts of the world enjoy the festival organizing social and family events, cultural programs and festivities at Buddhist shrines.

Sonam Lhosar (Tamang Losar) – Feb. 2, 2022

Sonam Lhosar is the Tamang New Year. Sonam Lhosar is celebrated by the influential Tamang ethnic group and people of Helambu observe with much fanfare. According to the Buddhist Lunar Calendar, Sonam Lhosar usually begins from new moon day of Magh. Namobuddha, Swayambhunath, Boudhanath and other monasteries are adorned by prayer flags. The entire Tamang community of Nepal celebrates Sonam Lhosar. Tamang literally means horse traders and are people living in the highland mountainous areas of Nepal.

Gyalpo Lhosar (Sherpa Lhosar) – March 3, 2022

Gyalpo Lhosar is celebrated by the Sherpa community living in Himalayan region. The date is set as per the Tibetan calendar . The Tibetan calendar consists of 12 lunar months and the first day of the first month is Lhosar.

Lhosar is celebrated according to the changing year of various animals and birds of twelve species every year. Celebrations and rituals last for five to fifteen days as per the tradition of different regions and communities. On the new year, people visit monasteries in their traditional costumes.

Buddhist monks perform masked dances and rituals to drive away negative forces and bring positivity for the family and the people. Monasteries are attractively adorned and people take blessings from monks for their progress, prosperity and happiness. The events are followed by extensive feasts in houses.

In Kathmandu Valley, the day is usually marked by organizing cultural programs with  food stalls and entertainment for adults as well as children at Tundikhel. Delicacies with varieties of pork, duck, chicken, including sweets and deserts are prepared for family gathering. Musical programs are performed with Tamang Selo and Damfu (traditional musical drum).  Celebrations include sharing and preserving of centuries long culture and tradition.

Source: Nepal Now