Losar Tashi Delek! Celebrating Tibetan New Year

The word Losar is derived from two words, “Lo” meaning “year” and “sar” meaning “new.” For centuries, Losar, Tibetan New Year has been a time of celebration, a time for families to come together and be thankful for their blessings, for religious faith to be honored in prayer and a time when neighbors and friends greet each other with “Losar Tashi Delek!” or (Best wishes for an auspicious New Year!”).

This painting of the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Tibetan Buddhism is by 15 year-old Shaokyi Amdo, a student of the Capital Area Tibetan Association’s weekend Tibetan language school for Tibetan-American children living in the Washington DC metro area. The eight symbols are very popular in Tibet and represent the eight precious offerings made by the gods to Shakyamuni Buddha upon his enlightenment. ~https://savetibet.org/

This year, Losar falls on Tuesday 2/21. This is the first day of the first month of the Tibetan lunisolar calendar. One important tradition includes hanging new prayer flags, Wind Horse flags, which carry the good wishes to all corners of the earth on the winds. Prayer flags are hung up to spread the auspicious wishes on the winds. These Windhorse flags usually have the wind horse symbol (a horse with jewels and flames on his back flying through the air), with mantras.

Paradise Found contributor Rebecca Zendejas wrote a wonderful article last year about how she has incorporated the tradition of hanging prayer flags into her life:

"Several years ago I began observing the festival of Losar, the Tibetan Lunar New Year by ‘planting’ prayer flags outside the entrance to my home. They could be seen each time I left and returned; while I prepared a meal or washed dishes; as I worked from my desk… several times a day I would pause and enjoy their movement in the breeze..."

Click HERE to read the rest of Rebecca's article, in which she shares rituals, altar inspiration, and traditions inspired by Losar.
Image credit: Rebecca Zendejas

“As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all beings.”
~H.H. the Dalai Lama

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