Galdan Namchot and Losar - Losar is considered to be the most important of all the socio-religious events of Ladakh and its preparations start quite early, immediately after the harvesting season is over.
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Leh Ladakh » Ladakh Tours » Galdan Namchot and Losar

Galdan Namchot and Losar

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Highlights

Celebrations During LosarLosar is the most important of all the socio-religious events of Ladakh. Preparations for the event start quite early, immediately after the harvesting season is over, when people start stocking provisions for the occasion: sheep and goats for the customary feasts as well as grain for brewing 'Chang,' the local barley beer. New clothes and jewelry are also made for wearing on the New Year Day. The actual New Year celebrations begin with Namchot, a socio-religious event celebrated to observe the birthday and the Buddha-hood of Tsongkha-pa, the Tibetan saint-scholar and founder of the Geluk-pa school of Tibetan Buddhism in the 14th century. From this auspicious day the New Year celebrations continue through the festival of Losar and conclude with that of Leh Dosmoche, the great winter festival held approximately two weeks after Losar. During Namchot it is customary in every home to prepare various varieties of the traditional Ladakhi 'thukpa,' a vegetable and mutton noodle soup, and serve it to visiting friends and relatives. The New Year day itself starts with making offerings at the shrines of personal gods and clan ancestors and with greetings to family elders, relatives and friends. Afterwards, elders of the family receive customary visitors who come to greet them with presents and 'Khatak,' a ceremonial scarf. Leh and its adjoining villages wear a carnival look as people come out in their colorful best. It is customary for the Muslims and Christians in Leh to call on their Buddhist friends carrying presents and Khatak to greet them on the occasion. The New Year festivities conclude with the 'Metho' ceremony, when a processions of people carrying flaming torches pass through the bazaars and lanes, chanting prayers to chase away evil spirits and hungry ghosts believed to have accumulate during the year as a result of bad Karma (deeds). An interesting display of fire and light is created by the whirling of the flaming torches which are then thrown away in a gesture to bid farewell to the old year and to welcome the new.

Region : Zhung (Middle Ladakh)
Festival Dates: Leh, December 18 - 24
Tour Code: LL0026

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