LOSAR FESTIVAL

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» East India
» Arunachal Pradesh
Location: Tawang District, Arunachal Pradesh
Time Of The Festivity: End OF February Or Early March
Celebrated By: The Monpa Tribe
Festive Significance: Celebration Of Buddhist New Year.

The New Year festival, called "Losar", is perhaps the most important festival of Tawang District. It generally falls in the last part of February or early part of March and is celebrated with lots of gaiety and festivity, which lasts for 8 to 15 days.

Rites & Rituals
On the first day of the Losar, in the early dawn, one or two members of the family go to draw first water from the stream or water-tap. Incense is offered at the water source, tie a scarf round the tap, "Chang" (local liquor) and Chemar are offered and there is recitation of prayers to appease the 'Nagas' and spirits. The water drawn on that day is believed to be especially purifying and sanctifying as it has been cleansed by the starlight of the night before. On reaching home they go to the chapel where lamps are lit and prayers are recited for a prosperous and calamity & disease-free year. Then hot Chang mixed with Looves and Khab is served to every member of the family bidding them "Tashi Delek".

Attiring themselves in their best clothes, all the family members go to the chapel where lamps are lit and recite prayers. The housewife then serves hot Chang porridge, Khab-se, sweet-rice, tea, etc. They then go to their neighbours' house to bid "Tashi Delek". On the first day, the people generally remain indoor without much socialization. From the second day onwards, they start visiting each others houses, gamble, dance and sing song, organize archery competition etc.

The Celebrations
On third day, prayer flags are hoisted on their roofs, both vertically and horizontally. While hoisting flags, a recital of appeasement is offered in honor of their deities and spirits. Holding flour in their hands and shouting "Lha So Lo, Ki Ki So So Lha Gyal Lo" (May the Gods be victorious). They throw the flour towards the sky. Yak dance troupe performs Yak dance from house to house where they are treated with Chang, tea, Khab-se and of course money.


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