Losar Festival of Ladakh
Losar festival of Ladakh is a religious festival. It is predominantly celebrated by the Tibetan Buddhists. It is celebrated for 15 days. It starts on Tibetan New Year. They follow Lunar calendar.
How is Losar festival celebrated in Ladakh?
The festival is celebrated with music performances, folk dances, special prayers, gifts exchange. During Losar evening processions called METHO is held. Metho is held in streets, lanes and markets. During Metho, people carry flaming torches and chant slogans. Special dishes are made and offered to Buddhist gods. The month-long festival is begun by cleaning the housing, removing unwanted things and unused things, discarding old materials. This is done to chase away the evil omens in the house. During this process, the evil spirits are driven away to the streets. The Metho procession then chases them out of the town or village.
History of Losar festival
The Losar festival originated in Tibet. It dates back to pre – Buddhist era, around 17th century. Incense burning custom is followed in Bon religion. With the arrival of Lord Buddha in Tibet, this custom merged with the harvest festival and the Losar festival emerged. This happened during the reign of Pude Gungyal. He was the ninth Tibetan king.
Why metho ceremony?
The chants and sacred fire torch of the metho ceremony is believed to clean the spirits. It drives away evil spirits in the town and paves way for the holy spirit. Metho clears the negativity that accumulated in the town the entire year.
Losar Festival in Arunachal Pradesh
The Losar festival is also celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh. Here it is celebrated by the Monpa tribe. It is celebrated in Tawang region of the state. It is a three-day festival here. Here also, the Losar is celebrated marking the beginning of calendar. Lo means year. Sar means Year. The celebrations is all the same. Music, metho, folk, etc. Losar festival is also celebrated in Nepal.
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