The festival of Losar is being celebrated across Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir with traditional and religious fervor. The 15 daylong celebration of Losar festival, mark the beginning of the New Year.
The centuries-old tradition of celebrating Losar continued to strengthen the existing community bond and add joy to the lives of inhabitants of the landlocked Himalayan territory of Ladakh.
Losar is a community-based socio-religious festival celebrated by the Buddhists of Ladakh, which has 19 major monasteries celebrating 18 monastic festivals every year.
The Losar celebrations begin with prayers to the god and goddess common to a group of families, known as Faspun. They exchange wishes and greetings for the New Year.
On the eve of Losar, family ancestors are remembered by offering delicious food and lighting the traditional lamp in front of the graveyard.
Lardaak is responsible for offering prayers to the village god and goddess during Losar celebrations and carrying out rituals to purify the individual, who perform the traditional role of the three Lama Jogis and grandparents.
Lardaak heads the Karoks, the dancers of the grand celebrations. Karoks have to complete the dance 360 times before the deadline set by the village astrologer.
Considered pilgrims of Kailash Mansarovar and well-wishers of New Year, Lama Jogis visit each house of the village, wishing prosperity. Children and youngsters also join the grand celebrations by covering their faces and dressing up in animal skin jackets. They visit houses to wish a prosperous New Year.
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