Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Gyalpo Lhosar

Nepal is a country that is multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-lingual, and multi-ethnic. It is an Indigenous Nationality Country. Nepal is a country with a diverse cultural heritage. It has sheltered individuals from many ethnic groups, religions, and cultures. It is made up of many languages and cultures, resulting in a diverse and unique culture and a variety of festivals are celebrated here in Nepal. Among them, Gyalpo Lhosar is the festival considered as a Tibetan New Year, which is widely celebrated by the Sherpa, Hyolmo and Bhotiya communities of Nepal. They each have their own traditions for how they commemorate this holiday. Losar is made up of two words: Lo, which means year, and Sar, which means new. Losar is mostly observed by Sherpa, Tibetan, Tamang, Bhutia, and Yolmo peoples of Nepal. Gyalpo Losar, in particular, is the Tibetan New Year’s festival. Despite the fact that many groups in Nepal have their own variations, the following narrative is typical of Sherpa festivities.GyalpoLhosar is observed for two weeks, although the first three days are the most important. The primary day to celebrate it is the second of these three days.

GyalpoLhosar was originally celebrated, according to mythology, when an elderly woman named Belma taught the concept of time measurement based on the phases of the moon.Khapse, cakes, pastries, chocolates, breads, and fruits adorn a family shrine. Gyalpo Losar celebrations nowadays usually span only two weeks and are centered on food, family, and revelry. Losar preparations begin with the preparation of a traditional Sherpa snack called Khapse, a deep-fried pastry that symbolizes the beginning of the festival celebrations.Everyone in a Sherpa household meets two days beforeGyalpoLhosar to eat Gutung, a unique soup. This soup is made with a mix of nine different kinds of beans, and according to custom, each family member should have nine bowls of it. Gutung is also served with a unique sort of dumpling that has various concealed items that are substituted for contents.The hidden objects are frequently unusual, such as wood, salt, or even coal, and are ostensibly designed to reflect the personality of the individual for whom they are chosen. Families assemble the day before Losar to clean and decorate their houses. The customary greeting, “TashiDelek,” is shared after the clock strikes midnight that same evening, and friends and family remain up late to welcome each other to the New Year.Many Sherpa replace their Dhoja, or prayer flags, at their houses the next morning, marking a new year. The day continues with an unique beverage produced from Chaang called Changkol (a Tibetan version of beer). People sing or dance to traditional Sherpa music, eat, and drink to mark the occasion.

During Losar celebrations in Kathmandu, Cham dancers perform near the BoudhanathStupa at the Shechen Monastery. Buddhist monks perform the Cham (Tsam) dance, which is a sacred masked costume dance.People gather in the afternoon to continue the celebration. At nearby monasteries, several ancient ceremonial dances depicting the battle between demons and gods are performed. Throughout the gathering, mantras are sung and flaming torches are passed around. Losar is especially popular with children since the atmosphere is joyful and full of wonderful food, sweets, and gifts.In the evening, the festivities come to a close with a meal with family and friends, signaling the start of the new year. Losar’s traditions have evolved to accommodate modern times and hectic schedules, but the pleasure, happiness, and essence of Losar remain the same.

So, those that participate in this event have a great time participating in numerous activities. They dress in traditional clothing, sing and dance in chorus, play musical instruments, eat and drink a variety of home-cooked foods, and give a spiritual performance. Nearby monasteries, chhortens, and stupas attract visitors. Based on the Tibetan Lunar calendar, certain ceremonial dances depict a battle between Gods and Demons.For GyalpoLhosar, Nepal’s New Year festival, the BoudhanathStupa in Kathmandu is lighted up and adorned. People in Nepal, Tibet, and many surrounding Asian nations begin preparing for Losar, a festival that celebrates the start of the New Year, in February. The festivals like Lhosar is the asset of Nepal and they should be preserved and practiced more and special emphasis should be given by the Government of Nepal for their celebrations.

-Article written by: Saru Niraula for Land Nepal

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