Losar or Tibetan New Year is a joyful holiday celebrated by Tibetans and people in the Himalayan region with festivities traditionally lasting for several days.
Here are photos and slideshows from two Tibetan Buddhist nunneries showing how the nuns prepare for and celebrate Losar.
This year, Losar began on March 3rd, 2022. According to the Tibetan lunar calendar, it is the start of year of the Water Tiger, 2149.
Goodbye to All Negativities of the Old Year
Losar-related rituals fall into two distinct parts. First, Tibetans say goodbye to the old year and let go of all its negative or bad aspects. Part of this involves cleaning one’s home from top to bottom. After that, the “new year” Losar (ལོ་གསར་) is welcomed with prayers and by inviting all good, auspicious things into our homes and our lives.
Before Losar, there are many preparations at the nunneries, including making khapse, the deep-fried biscuits that are a staple of Tibetan New Year’s celebrations everywhere. The dough is usually made with flour, eggs, butter, and sugar and is then rolled out and twisted into a variety shapes and sizes. Some are served to guests and some decorate the Losar altar.
Here’s a slideshow of the nuns at Geden Choeling Nunnery preparing for Losar and making khapse. Geden Choeling is the oldest nunnery in Dharamsala, India and is home to about 200 nuns.
Losar at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute
Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute is the largest of the seven nunneries we support in India. Home to about 250 nuns, the nunnery is a busy place at Losar. The nuns at Dolma Ling make butter sculptures to help decorate the Losar altar. They also roll, shape, and fry thousands of khapse biscuits.
Here’s a slideshow showing Losar at Dolma Ling.
We are grateful to the Media Nuns at Dolma Ling for the photos.