BOMDILA- ( By- Rinchin Khandu ) – The Monpas residing in Bomdila celebrated their most popular festival Losar, to mark the advent of spring and the first day of the lunar calendar.
Losar (Lo means year and Sar meaning new thus the literal meaning of Losar is new year) is a festival. The holiday is a new year’s festival, which corresponds to a date in February or March in the Gregorian calendar.
In 2021, the new year commenced on the 12th of February and celebrations ran until the 27th of the same month. It also commenced the Year of the Metal ox new year.
During Losar, Monpa’s went to the local spring to perform a ritual of gratitude. They made offerings to the god, the water spirits who activated the water element in the area. They made smoke offerings to the local spirits associated with the natural world around us.
Beliefs and behaviors like ours evolved long ago and are often seen as primitive in the West. But they are not only projections of human fears onto the natural world, as some anthropologists and historians suggest.
Our way of relating to the elements originated in the direct experiences by our sages and common people of the sacred nature of the external and internal elements. We call these elements earth, water, fire, air, and space.
Losar is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days. On the first day of Losar, a beverage called changkol is made from chhaang. The second day of Losar is known as King’s Losar (gyalpo losar).