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.
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.