Losar Festival (Losar New Year) Featured in
Losar is widely celebrated in those regions of India that are bordering to Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal. It is the most important annual festival in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, which is often called a small Tibet. The holiday, dating back to the 15th century, lasts for 15 days in January or February. The largest celebrations fall on the first three days of Losar. Colorful traditions include masked dances, fire processions, music, and the reenactment of the battle between the good and the evil dating back to the times of Ladakh King Jamyang Namgyal.
The highlights of Ladakhi Losar include “Metho” processions featuring people with burning torches that parade the streets of towns and villages to scare off bad spirits and welcome a new beginning.
One of the largest Losar celebrations takes place in Leh, which is home to quite a few gompas or Buddhist monasteries. Leh main market is the epicenter of mass festivities with live music, traditional dances, and merrymaking. The oldest region of Alchi Gompa is located in one hour's drive from Leh, and is an another great place to witness Losar traditions. It has several large Buddha statues and unique paintings. Another good idea is to visit the mountainous Lamayuru Monastery, which can be reached via the Srinagar-Leh highway. This ancient monastery is home to about 150 monks and is known for its masked dance.