Tamang people from Mahayana tradition across Nepal celebrated Sonam Losar-the beginning of the New Year—with much fanfare on Tuesday.
People residing in Kathmandu Valley had gathered in Tundikhel to celebrate the festival. Earlier, they took out rally in various part of the Valley on the occasion.
Tamang people divide their years into 12 cycles, each one for a year, which is given a special name, represented by one of the 12 animals for each year. This year is year of Boar/Pig/Deer.
The government of province 2 and 3 have declared public holiday today to celebrate the festival.
Sonam Lhosar is a festival celebrated as an occasion of start of a new year, by the Tamang community people in Nepal. ‘Lho’ means year and ‘Sar’ means new or fresh if translated, and the word ‘Sonam’ is referred to the Tamang people in Nepal, thus the festival ‘Sonam Lhosar’ is the New Year event, according to the calendar followed by Tamang people. This festival is also observed by minority Yolmo, Dura, the Thakalis of Mustang, the Dolpalis, and the Sinsas from Sankhuwasabha in the Himalayan region. According to the Bikram Sambat Nepali calendar, Sonam Lhosar falls on the month of Magh (January, according to the Gregorian calendar). The Sonam Lhosar falls on Magh Shukla Pakshya every year, according to the Lunar calendar. The Sonam Lhosar of this year is the 2849th Lhosar of the community.
The Sonam Lhosar festival is celebrated for two weeks in overall between December and January every year (of which only one day is the main). In this festival, the houses and vicinity are kept clean, holy clothes hoisted and pooja conducted by worshipping Lord Buddha. The Lama and gurus gather, and dances are performed in the Tamang community. Monasteries are attractively adorned with colorful decorative items. People take blessings from monks for their progress, prosperity and happiness. The events are followed by extensive feasts in houses. Daughters and sisters are invited to receive blessings along with exchanging of greetings among one another. In Kathmandu valley, the day is usually marked by organising several cultural programmes followed by several of variegated food stalls and play work for children. Similarly, a rally is taken out in the Tundikhel area where a three-day-long festival and Miss Tamang competition are also held. 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 eople have fiestas and fun, and take ultimate enjoyment in this festival sharing and preserving their centuries long culture and tradition.
Photo Courtesy: Deshsanchar