Bhutanese New Year 

Bhutanese New Year

Last year, when a guest asked if anything special was happening during the Chinese New Year, we said, “Not really.” It made us think deeper. While Bhutan celebrates Losar (New Year) close to the Chinese New Year, celebrations are limited to homes and families. The reason why there isn’t one grand Losar celebration could be because there are multiple Bhutanese New Years.

Bhutanese New Year

The first Bhutanese New Year is called Losar. It takes place at the beginning of the year, coinciding with the Chinese New Year. Losar is observed by the majority of the Bhutanese. The celebration is marked by family gatherings, offerings, and well wishes for the new year. Playing archery is a big theme during this time. 

Paro and Haa

Then there is Lomba, a two-day, new year festival for people in Paro and Haa. Lomba usually takes place in late fall, coinciding with the harvest season. Schools and offices in Paro and Haa remain closed during these two days. It is a time for families and communities to gather and make local delicacies such as Hoenty (spinach and cheese dumplings) and Jomga (Bhutanese pizza). 

Blessed Rainy Day

The third Bhutanese New Year is called Blessed Rainy Day—Thrubab— celebrated after the summer. It is celebrated by people mostly in the eastern region and of Eastern descent. Though others join as well. A similar theme takes place during this time, with families gathering for feasts, dancing, and drinking. 

In addition to the day being a new year, it is also a special holiday. It marks the day when taking a bath means being cleansed of one’s bad deeds. A playful tradition involves teasing each other about only taking a bath once a year, specifically during Thrubab. Moreover, people during this holiday visit temples and shrines to seek blessings and make offerings. 

New Years Eve

Lastly, we have New Year’s Eve, celebrated by many Bhutanese. This celebration might be the most public, though not as culturally rich as the other New Years. Youngsters, like in most places in the world, visit clubs, book expensive dinners, and drive to exotic spots looking for a memorable time. The festivities are distinct, featuring plenty of dancing, perhaps some friendly revelry, and a touch of adventure.

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