The festival is also marked by various traditional performances and dances, such as the cham dance, which is performed by monks wearing colourful masks and costumes. The celebrations conclude with the Butter Lamp Festival, where people light butter lamps and offer prayers.
One of the most significant aspects of the Losar festival is the "Guthuk" tradition, which is a soup made from 9 different ingredients, including barley, rice, and meat. The soup is served on the eve of Losar, and each ingredient has a symbolic meaning. For example, the barley represents health and strength, while the meat symbolizes the male gender.
But one of the most interesting customs during Losar is when the monks go on "furlough" and return home to celebrate with their families.
This tradition is rooted in the idea that the monks have spent the year living and studying at the monasteries, and Losar is an opportunity for them to return to their homes and communities to reconnect with their families and friends. It is a time for them to relax, recharge, and have some fun before returning to the monasteries for another year of study and practice.
Losar is a joyous festival filled with traditions and celebrations that reflect the unique Tibetan culture and heritage. From the colourful decorations to the traditional performances and dances, Losar is a time to come together, share stories and laughter, and look forward to the year ahead.
So, if you are interested in learning more about the Losar festival and the "Monks on Furlough" tradition, join in on the celebrations and experience the warmth and vibrancy of this fascinating festival first-hand.
The Tawang Monastery Museum, located inside the monastery complex, houses several artifacts that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region. The museum displays various traditional costumes, musical instruments, and handicrafts.
Tourist attraction near Tawang Monastery
Apart from Tawang Monastery, there are several other tourist attractions near the monastery that visitors can explore. Some of the most popular tourist attractions include:
I. Tawang War Memorial: This memorial is dedicated to the Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the Indo-China war of 1962. The memorial has a museum that showcases various weapons and war artifacts used during the war.
II. Sela Pass: The Sela Pass is located at an altitude of 4170 meters and is one of the highest motorable passes in India. Located in the heart of the snow-capped mountains, this pass offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
III. Bumla Pass: The Bumla Pass is located at an altitude of 16000 feet and is the border between India and China. Visitors can only visit this pass with prior permission from the Indian army.
IV. Pankang Teng Tso Lake: This picturesque lake is located near the Tawang Monastery and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Additionally, visitors will also be able to indulge in various water-related activities such as boating.
V. Nuranang Falls: Nuranang Falls is a beautiful waterfall located near the town of Jang. This beautiful waterfall is surrounded by lush green forest, making it an ideal place to enjoy a picnic.