Sonam Losar "New Year of Tamang Community in Nepal"
Sonam Losar is the Tamang Community's New Year. On this day, they worship and spend time with their family and relatives.
’Lho’ means ‘Year’ and ‘Sar’ means ‘New’, altogether it means New Year. In Nepal, people from different communities celebrate different losar. Some of the famous losar are Tamu losar, Gyalbo losar and Sonam losar. Some people from countries like Tibet, China, India and Bhutan also celebrate this festival.
Tamang Community of Nepal celebrates Sonam losar as a New Year. It usually falls in late January or early February. As per Bikram Sambat calendar, the day falls on Magh month. It began 2856 years ago in Nepal. Tamang people have a tradition of counting a year on the name of 12 different animals as 12 months. It starts with a rat and ends with a wild pig/boar. The first day of the month ‘rat’ is the day of Sonam losar.
How do People celebrate Sonam losar?
Before the worship ceremony, the entire family thoroughly cleans their house. On the last day of the 12th month, they start cleaning their home, especially their kitchen. They believe that cleaning thoroughly at the beginning of the year takes out all the misfortune of the family. And, they expect to bring good luck after this thorough sweeping.
The Tamang community celebrates their new year with food, and music in a way that it becomes a memorable celebration every year. On this day, people tend to go to monasteries or stupas for a special ritual and worship ceremony. Some people even have a worship ceremony at their home.
Celebration in Kathmandu
Every year on the occasion of Sonam losar people organize a big event in Tundikhel. Once they perform their special ritual and worship ceremony, they visit Tundikhel wearing Tamang cultural dresses. People set up a stall and decorate their stalls with colorful papers and clothes to represent the energy of the theme they want to bring home. They cook different food items and enjoy the new year with their relatives.
Sonam losar doesn’t only mark a new year, it marks an emotion that comes with the new year and getting together to celebrate it. So, the new year for the Tamangs brings together good fortune and good bonds with each other, wishing for prosperity.