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Losar Festival


  Losar is the New Year Festival of the Mahayana Buddhists, generally known as Sonam Losar in Sikkim, that falls on the 25th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan calendar, corresponding to December. The festival is generally celebrated over seven days as a thanksgiving feast by the farmers. There is great merriment and revelry as people thank the gods and pay homage to their ancestors for providing abundant food. An important ritual of this festival is called Meto that involves lighting of three bundles of willow and juniper branches and making special offerings to appease the deity. Animals like goats are sacrificed but not before intoxicating them with a local beer called chang. This is followed by a rite called Mesol in which male members of a family visit the crematoria to honour the ancestors.


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