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Lunar New Year and Losar

The Lunar New Year, most commonly associated with the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, typically falls sometime between January 21 and February 20 annually. Lunar New Year 2021 is on February 12, and in terms of the Chinese zodiac animal, it’s the Year of the Ox. It’s called the Lunar New Year because it marks the first new moon of the lunisolar calendars traditional to many east Asian countries.

In Tibetan culture  February 12 will be the first day of Losar. By the Tibetan calendar, this will be the first day of the Iron Ox year of 2148.

Losar-related rituals are actually divided into two quite distinct parts. First, we close out the old year and bid goodbye to all its bad aspects and negativities, with activities that center on the eve of the last night of the year, the 29th day – Nyi Shu Gu – of the Tibetan calendar. Only after that do we turn our attention to welcoming the Losar –  the “new year”  – and inviting all good, auspicious things into our homes and our lives.