Ladakh celebrates Losar to mark New Year

Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir celebrated the festival of Losar with traditional and religious fervor and gaiety. The festival which is celebrated for 15 days marks the start of the New Year.

Abour Losar:

Losar is a centuries-old community-based socio-religious festival celebrated by the Buddhists of Ladakh. The region has 19 major monasteries celebrating 18 monastic festivals every year. The festivities start with prayers to the god and goddess common to a group of families, known as Faspun. On the eve of Losar, family ascendants are remembered by offering scrumptious food and lighting the traditional lamp in front of the graveyard.

During Losar, Lardaak offers prayers to the village god and goddess and performs rituals to purify the individual, who performs the traditional role of the three Lama Jogis and grandparents.

Lardaak heads the Karoks, the dancers of the celebrations. Karoks have to complete the dance 360 times before the deadline set by the village astrologer. Lama Jogis visit every house of the village, wishing prosperity. The festivities are also joined by kids and youngsters who cover their faces and dress up in animal skin jackets. They visit houses to wish a prosperous New Year.

Lativa becomes the 18th state to join the Eurozone

The Baltic nation, Latvia joined the Euro Zone, with the expectation that the euro will lower its borrowing costs and encourage investors by eliminating currency risk. It became the 18th member of the European Union, which uses the Euro as its currency and the fourth smallest economy in the euro zone after Malta, Estonia and Cyprus.

The euro switchover ceremony took place at a site where Latvia’s crisis began – the former headquarters of the collapsed Parex bank, now headquarters of state-owned Citatele bank, which emerged from Parex’s ruins. The official conversion rate is 1 EUR = 0.702804 LVL.

About the Euro

  • Established by the provisions in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty.
  • Central bank: European Central Bank.
  • Official currency of the Eurozone.
  • The Eurozone is an economic and monetary union (EMU) of 18 European Union (EU) member states that have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender.
  • Member states: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Latvia joined the Eurozone on January 1, 2014.