New Year Tour Packages in Leh:
Lo means year and Sar means new. The celebrations take place with a Metho ceremony people chanting prayers and carrying blazing torches which is believed to cleanse the bad karma accumulated during the year and chase away evil spirits.Spectacular feasts for Gods and deities are made with men, women and children partaking in decorating domestic shrines. The gompas are ornately decorated by Ladakhi Buddhists and elaborate offerings called Lama Losar are also made.The Ladakhi performers with their vivid costumes literally brighten the entire atmosphere along with music, dance, dramatically staged battles and delectable feasts that add more to the joyous atmosphere.
How Ladakh got its New Year:
This New Year festival has a fascinating history. In the 17th century, King Jamyang Namgyal decided to lead a voyage against the Balti forces during winter. He was advised that any expedition before the New Year would be unpromising.
Blending Buddhism with Bonism :
Losar is one of the most significant of all the socio-religious events of Ladakh which involves the entire population of the region. Interestingly, the rites and rituals are a combination of Buddhist and the pre-Bhuddhist Bon religious rituals. Preparations commence by the end of the harvest period when people start stocking sheep and goats for the customary feasts and a grain for brewing 'chang', a local barley beer. Also, new clothes and jewellery are kept ready for the occasion.
Lights and Feasting:
The festivities begin on the 29th day of the 10th months with the enlightenment of buildings and shrines. Sheep and goats are kept reserved for the occasion and are ritually slaughtered to mark the beginning of evening feasts.
Ritual and Warmth:
The New Year day begins with offerings to various gods, elders and relatives. Afterwards, the elders look forward to the customary visitors who come to greet the family with presents and 'Khatak', which is the ceremonial scarf. It is a tradiotion for the Muslims and Christians in Leh to visit their Buddhist friends and greet them on the eve of Losar.
Guardians of Prosperity:
Images of ibex and other good symbols are put on the door and walls of the kitchen as the ibex is actually a symbol of fertility believed to bring prosperity.
The procession of fire:
In the evening, the 'Metho' ceremony takes place and the markets of Leh get lit up as the people chant slogans to chase out evil spirits and hungry ghosts.Spiraling torches make an incredible display of fire and light and at the end of it all, the torches are thrown well outside the town to bid farewell to the previous year and to welcome the new one.
This event is celebrated in order to keenly observe the birthday and the Buddhahood or Tsongkhapa, a Tibetan saint-scholar who founded the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism during the 14th century.The festivities include lighting of all monastic, public and residential buildings throughout Ladakh.During this festival, it is considered customary to prepare different varieties of the traditional dish, 'Thukpa' in every home to mark celebration of the festival.