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Rigzen, the festival season is coming up. Are you excited?

That is superb! I am excited about all the good food I will eat.

Wow. I will definitely come to your house. Save some for me.

That is true! I will also go to Kinnaur to visit my aunt. She makes the best Guenta.

Absolutely!

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Absolutely Tashi! I recently bought new clothes as well.

Yes. My mother has promised to make mok-mok.

Haha. Sure. Festival time is really fun. I will also visit some relatives for Losar.

My friend Tanzin who lives in Lara village in Spiti also has a very interesting story about Losar. Let’s hear it.

Losar Celebration in Spiti

By Tanzin Wangmo

Losar is a Buddhist festival in Spiti and it is celebrated during Tongzen meaning New years day. We start the day with prayers thanking God for keeping us safe and happy and pray for his blessings. We offer butter lamps and place them all around our house - the prayer room, altar, kitchen and the cow shelter.

When I was young, my mother used to take me to Demul village to celebrate Losar with my grandparents and my siblings. We would walk through the valley all the way from my village to Demul as the roads were bad. We would take Tsampa (barley), Ney (wheat) and Chang (local wine) as gifts for our relatives. Women would sing and dance in groups. There would be a communal feast and festivities in the Changa-hall (village community hall). Villagers would serve thick Spitian bread with tea in the morning and mok-mok for dinner. We would also engage in various religious ceremonies in our homes and invite Lamas (monks) to do the ritual. They would do prayers with Damaru (drum), make torma (religious effigies) and dil-tsen (barley dough rolls) for the ceremony. After prayers, two members from the household would go out and throw the torma and dil-tsen.

My mother would say it was for good luck and it would take our pain and sufferings away. We would also pray for the health and happiness of all living beings and pray for good snowfall and harvest season.

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Attributions:

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Losar Celebrations in Spiti:

Tanzin Wangmo is from Lara village in Spiti. She is in 8th grade and likes dancing. She likes helping her family for their agricultural work where they grow green peas, barley and Spitian potatoes.