Palyul Changchub Dargyeling Dallas
Tibetan Buddhist Meditation and Study in the Nyingma Tradition
His Holiness Penor Rinpoche Spiritual Practice Advice PCD Dallas Teachers
Teaching Programs at PCD Dallas 2001 to Present
PCD Dallas Resources for Buddhist Study/Practice Buddha Nature by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Home Page About Us Nyingma Palyul Nam Chö Lineage Prayers and Mantras News and Events
2008 Dallas Meditation/Study Schedule Contact Us Donations Gratefully Accepted
Driving Directions to PCD Dallas: Don't Leave Home Without Reading
Return to Dallas Meditation Schedule Page
Meaning of Losar Article
Losar is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days [note: this schedule is followed at Namdroling Monastery, India]. Losar is traditionally preceded by the five day practice of Vajrakilaya [note: this schedule is followed at Namdroling Monastery, India].
Losar rituals include painting houses, wearing new clothes, and resolving quarrels and debts. Old Tibetan prayer flags are often replaced with new ones on Losar.
Losar is celebrated on the first through third days of the first lunar month. The Tibetan calendar is a lunisolar calendar [A lunisolar calendar is a calendar whose date indicates both the moon phase and the time of the solar year]. Listed below as: Gregorian year 1st, Tibetan year 2nd, Losar Element and Animal 3rd.
Losar: Tibetan New Year
When and Where Is Losar Celebrated?
Tibetan New Year festivities take place in January or February. Tibetan Buddhists follow the lunar calendar so the date of Losar is different each year. While Losar celebrations once lasted for as long as two weeks, in modern times, Losar is normally a three-day festival. Losar is celebrated by Buddhists in Tibet, India, Bhutan, Sikkim and in Tibetan expatriate communities throughout the world.
How Is Losar Celebrated?
People usually spend the first day of Losar with members of their immediate family. They wear their new garments and eat celebratory foods such as guthuk noodles, made from cereals and dried cheese, and various types of vegetable soups. They often drink Changkol, a type of rice wine similar to Japanese sake.
Dough balls containing small hidden items, such as chilies or coal may be served to guests. Whatever you find inside your dough balls is supposed to be a light-hearted reflection of your character. A white article such as rice or salt found in your dough ball indicates that you're going to be lucky in the forthcoming year; a black article such as a small piece of coal suggests the opposite.
On the second and third days of Losar, people visit friends and other family members who don't live close by. They may also pay a visit to their local Buddhist temple, monastery or shrine and make offerings as part of the purification rituals for Losar.
Buddhist Monastery Losar Festivities
Naming A New Year
Like the Chinese New Year, each Tibetan New Year is identified by an Animal:
Finally, the gender alternates every other year. For example, the Tibetan year that started in February 2005 is the Female Wood Bird year. This will be followed by the Male Fire Dog year, then the Female Earth Pig year, and so on, in a sixty-year cycle.