New Year is the happiest and most precious time of the year that people all laugh, chill, and can enjoy their day full of joy and fun. Bhutan, a Himalayan country also has that important time of the year and it is called “Losar”. Bhutan Losar or Bhutan New Year plays an important role in the local’s belief as it is the time of family reunion and strengthening of cultural rituals and ties. The event is celebrated somewhere between February and March, regarding the Buddhist calendar.
The Celebration of Losar – Bhutan New Year
The Losar New Year in Bhutan celebration starts with “Nyi Shu Gu” which means Losar New Year’s Eve and continues for two full weeks, in some parts of Bhutan. However, the first 3 days of the New Year witness the biggest celebrations.
History of Bhutanese New Year
In the earliest times, Bhutan Losar was kept around the winter solstice’s time, however, the date was later moved to concur on or near the Chinese and Mongolian New Year. That’s the reason why the Losar New Year normally occurs in February or March on the Gregorian calendar.
Before Bhutan Losar
As Bhutan New Year approaches, the locals begin to prepare as they clean their homes along with making special offerings at temples which are called “Lama Losar.” Old possessions are tended to be gotten rid of and new ones bought this event as well. Also, temples and monasteries are decorated for the occasion. The special “puja” rituals are done at monasteries.
During Bhutan Losar
On New Year’s morning, the locals enjoy breakfast in sunrise, and various rituals are observed. A meal at noon as well as a mid-afternoon snack is also traditional. During this time of the year, families often go on picnics together, and the Losar New Year can be considered the time of celebration and relaxation.
In the later day, local Losar festivals are held across the nation, where there is abundant feasting, singing, dancing as well. Darts and Archery are played. Archery is prominent because it is the national sport of Bhutan. “Tashi Delek!” is given to everyone as a greeting. It is a wish for abundance and good luck on the one addressed.
Activities to Enjoy in Bhutan Losar
For those who enjoy Bhutan travel packages during Losar New Year, there are some activities for you to enjoy:
- Strive the dough balls often given out this time of year that has special “treats” hidden in the center. Things are written meant to symbolize the receiver’s character traits as well as are often used as jokes. For instance, a chili pepper inside stands for talking too much. Salt, rice, or something white inside shows you are a good person. Black coal in the middle, however, expresses your heart is hopelessly black.
- Strive some other festive Losar foods like guthuk which is a noodle made out of nine ingredients such as grains and a kind of dried cheese, sugar cane meat, fried biscuits, fermented rice, green bananas, mandarin oranges, a plethora of teas, and a tasty sweet called “shudre.”
- Head to Punakha, which was the capital of Bhutan. There, you can marvel at the Punakha Dzong, the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan that sits at the junction of two rivers – Mo Chhu & Pho Chhu, and is meant to symbolize Buddhism architecturally. When it was constructed, in 1637, a major Losar New Year celebration is held there, which has been observed annually ever since. The Punakha festival is one of the most essential of all the Losar festivals held every part of Bhutan.
Bhutan Losar Calendar
|2021||12th February||Friday||Bhutan Losar New Year|
|2022||3rd – 4th March||Thursday – Friday||Bhutan Losar New Year|
|2023||21st – 22nd February||Monday – Tuesday||Bhutan Losar New Year|
|2024||10th – 11th February||Saturday – Sunday||Bhutan Losar New Year|