Sonam Lhosar – New Year of Tamang People

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Sonam Lhosar

Sonam Lhosar is the new year of the Tamang community in Nepal and some parts of India. This is an annual celebration that took part in the Magh month as a Bikram Sambat Calendar and the first day of the new moon. This is a very important festival for the Tamang people, in Nepal, the government of Nepal grants a public holiday on this day.

Nepal is the land of multi-ethnic groups, multi-culture, and multi traditions so recently Gurung people celebrated Tamu Lhosar. Tamu Lhosar is the new year of the Gurung community same as Sonam Lhosar is the new year of the Tamang Community. In the Tamang language, Lho means year and Sar means new so in the combination of Lhosar is a new year.

In Tamang culture and tradition, they halved years into 12 cycles. Each year in different animals such as Cow, Mouse, Pig, Dog, Bird, Monkey, Horse, Tiger, Snake, Dragon, Cat, and Boer. All these animals follow a year and Tamang people count their years on those animals. This festival takes place for 5 days.

In Nepal, Sonam Lhosar celebrates everywhere, especially where the majority of people are Tamang. Such as Kavrepalanchok, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchok, Dolakha, Okhaldunga, Sinduli, Ramechhap, etc. Kathmandu is the center of the different types of ethnic groups so here also this festival celebrates grandly.

During this festival houses of the Tamang people are decorated with prayer flags and they paint new colors. People will go to the monastery to pray for their ancestors and the welfare of all the living things on this earth. All the family members get together in their house and call their relatives to join a party. At that party older people put on tika and give blessings to younger people. And of course, eat their traditional foods.

Name of the Animals that indicate Sonam Lhosar

Tamang

English

Nepali

जिवा

Rat

मुसा

लङ

Ox

साँढे

तक

Tiger

बाघ

हे (कुरी)

Rabbit

खरायो

डुक

Dragon

गरुँढ

डुल

Snake

सर्प

ता

Horse

घोडा

लुक

Goat/Sheep

भेडा

टे

Monkey

बाँदर

च्या, ज्या

Rooster

कुखुरा

खि

Dog

कुकुर

फक

Pig/Boar

सुंगुर

On the occasion of Sonam Lhosar, people will wear their traditional costumes and ornaments. Especially women dressed up beautifully and men as well. Although they both have the same kind of hat. Singing and dancing are also part of this celebration.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the last year 2021 people are not openly celebrated this festival. This year also the government strict the rules not more than 25 people in a place. So that this year also no mass gathering to celebrate Sonam Lhosar at Tudikhel Kathmandu. 

This year Sonam Lhosar going to celebrate Sunday 8th of Magh as per the Nepali calendar. And 22nd January 2023 as the English date. Let’s be ready to celebrate this great festival. 

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