Losar festivities at Palampur in Himachal

Losar, the Tibetian New Year was celebrated in Dharamshala / Palampur area on February 14, 2010. On the traditional Tibetan calendar it was 2136 being bid a fond farewell and 2137 being greeted.

The Tibetan calendar is based on a lunar cycle of 60 years. It consists of 12 animals (Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Donkey, Bird, Dog and Hog), which are then combined with the 5 elements (water, wood, fire, earth and iron) and two aspects (male and female).

I was fortunate enough to visit the Sherab Ling monastery, 8 km from Palampur and meet His Excellency Tai Situ Rinpoche during Losar festivities.

Presenting pictures of the Mahakaal puja, performed 2 days before Losar. It signifies the death of all evil, depicted in the dance by the energetic dance of the ox killing the evil. The central character is the most physically fit monk chosen from 4 of the fittest monks who are specially trained for this dance for a year. It was QUITE a rigorous workout, I must say!

This dance also signifies the end of winter and beginning of spring. The dances begin 2 days before Losar and continue up to Losar, which is then celebrated by exchanging gifts, offerings to the Gods, and celebrations continue for a week. A part of the characters in the Mahakaal puja dance were also the “Dashavatar” — all this is very similar to the Hindu philosophy and rituals but much more spectacular because of their costumes, music and chanting.

Losar Tashi Delek!
(Happy Tibetan New Year)

losar at Dharamshala

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musicians at losar at dharmshala 4

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losar at dharmshala 10

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losar at dharmshala 14

His Excellency Tai Situ Rinpoche

His Excellency Tai Situ Rinpoche

Sherab Ling Monastery near Palampur

Sherab Ling Monastery near Palampur

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7 Responses to "Losar festivities at Palampur in Himachal"

  1. anupams   February 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Really nice pictures!

  2. VarunM   February 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Colorful as ever, the Tibetans.

    You should make a flickr account for having all you pics in one place,what do you think?
    Also why is this Disqus comments registration mandatory for posting with name?

  3. NITYIN   February 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks Varun

    You don't have to register to post comments. Just like previous add your name and email address and then click on 'Post as Guest'. A new window pops up asking for log in details for Disqus. If you want you can register or click on the left side option of 'Continue Posting as Guest' and your comment is posted.

    The best part of this system is the spam filtering is very good and you don't have to moderate every comment. Also Facebook and Twitter integration is quite easier as the plugins earlier were not working on WP 2.9

    In case you are looking for all pics at one place, these are posted <a href=” http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=196343&id…> on Facebook

  4. Wong How Jun   February 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Oh my god. This is even better than reading the actualy news

  5. Kamal Sharma   February 17, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    The community has retained its culture. Pretty interesting post and some really rich pictures.

  6. Sanjay   February 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I always thought “Tashi Delek” is “Good Morning”_ but what lovely pictures!


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