The Losar festival or Monpa festival is an important festival of the Monpa tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. It is celebrated as the Tibetan New Year. The celebration lasts for 15 days, but the initial 3 days are the most important ones. Every year, the date and location of this festival is changed.
One the first day of the festival, one or two family members go to the water-tap or stream in the early dawn to draw the first water. They offer incense to the water source, bind a scarf over the tap, offer local liquor, and recite prayers to please the spirits.
They believe that the water drawn that day has purifying and sanctifying properties as it has been cleansed the night before by the starlight. Upon getting back home, they recite prayers in the lamp-lit chapels for a healthy, calm and prosperous year. They then serve local food and bid farewell to the relatives.
On the second day, they celebrate by visiting each others’ houses, dancing and singing, gambling, and conducting competitions. On the third day, they hoist flags both vertically and horizontally on their roofs; and recite prayers to honor spirits and deities.