Nepal is the country where numbers of festivals are celebrated throughout the year. Every festival possesses its own significant importance. Among different cultural festivals Lhosar is the festival celebrated as New Year in the Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung, Dura, Lepcha and Bhote communities in the mountainous region of Nepal.
There are 3 different types of Lhosar i.e. Tola Lhosar, Sonam Lhosar and Gyalbo Lhosar. Sonam Lhosar is celebrated by the Tamang community.
Sonam Lhosar falls on different dates each year in Bikram Sambat and English calendar. This calendar is ancient Tibetan/Chinese lunar calendar. The New Year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice (rarely the third if an intercalary month intervenes).
That is it is on Magh Shukla Pratipada, under eastern lunar calendar. It’s a government holiday on this day. Tamang has a tradition of counting year with association of symbols of 12 different animals. It starts with Rat and ends on Boar. This year’s Lhosar is the Year of Snake.
This festival is observed by visiting monasteries and stupas where a special ritual with mask dance is performed to expel negative forces. The houses and surroundings are clean and people buy the new clothes and household equipments according to their living standard.
The special food like pigs, duck, chicken and sweet deserts are prepared for the family gathering. Musical programs are also performed with Tamang Selo and Damfu (A traditional musical drum). Tamang Selo has transcended the boundaries of linguistic, cultural and social limits. It is one of the very popular Nepali music through Nepal.
Tamang also unite them and come to an open field with their traditional dress and jewellery and enjoys different types of cultural events, feasts and fares and exchange the greetings with each others. This is specially done in Tudikhel in Kathmandu.
Sonam Lhosar brings lots of joys and togetherness in Tamang family. It also gives opportunity to re-unite the family and friends of different community and generates religious tolerance despite of many caste, culture and traditions. Celebrating these types of festivals protects and promotes the Nepali culture and gives the unique identity of its cultural variations.
Deep diver into various festivals celebrated in Nepal:
- Dashain and Tihar (Greatest festival of Nepalese)
- Saraswati Puja- The day for the deity of knowledge, art and music
- Maha Shivaratri- The Night of Lord Shiva
- What you need to know about Tihar?
- The Great Hindu Festival “Teej”
- Festival of Nepal- Indra Jatra
- Tamu Lhosar: The greatest festival of Gurung
- Gai Jatra- A Nepali Festival
- Ghode Jatra-“The Horse Parade” festival of Nepal
- Nag Panchami- Hindu Festival celebration in Honor of Snake
- Holi “the festival of color”
- Maghe Sankranti- A celebration of the winter solstice