Nepal is describe as ‘Char jat ra chhatis barna ko yo sundar desh’ which translate into Nepali is a beautiful, multilingual and multi-cultural country. If you have met many people from Nepal, you might have noticed how different they look from each other. Please click here for my post ‘Different Look of Nepali people’ for details. Also in Nepal, there are lots of celebrations for different cultural group and ethnic group.
Today is Losar, a festival in Nepal which is celebrated by Mongolian Nepali, mainly by Gurung community as well as Rai, Tamang, Sherpas to welcome their New Year. Losar is celebrated on the first full moon of the first month according to a lunar calendar. On the solar calendar it falls between January and March. Lho means year or age and Sar means new or fresh. The word Lhosar means New Year or beginning of new era.
It is a National Holiday in Nepal so people can celebrate the festival.
Losar is the time when family member gathers and celebrate with cultural processions and feasting. Also on this day, older people give money and blessing to younger ones. I remember when I was young; I used to go to my friend’s place to celebrate Losar as my family doesn’t celebrate Losar (I am from Newar culture so we have our New Year during Tihar. Click here for more info). In her house, I used to get some money as well as lots of delicacies among which I liked sel roti (special Nepali bread) and achar the most.
One of the highlights of this day is that the people who celebrate Losar dress in their traditional outfit and go around Buddist temples. Men wear Bhangra, a white cloth shirt-like apparel tied across the chest and open like a bag at the back (for carrying things), and a Kachhad, like a short sarong or kilt while women wear maroon velvet Ghalek (blouses), enhanced by large gold earrings and semi-precious stone necklaces. Even kids are dressed up in traditional outfits.
To mark the day, all the Buddhist monasteries in the country are decorated with colourful prayer flags and the monks offer prayers for good health and prosperity, If you are in Nepal, the places to visit will be Bouddha and Swayambhu stupas where there will be crowds of people gathered to welcome the New Year.
In Sydney, there is a gathering this weekend to celebrate Losar. There will be many people dressed in traditional dress and there will be entertainment like cultural dance and singing. The best of all, there will be lots of Nepali food including Sel roti and momos
Happy Losar everyone!!!