NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm celebrated the Tibetan New Year called Losar at the United Sherpa Association in Elmhurst, Queens on Thursday, Feb. 22, according to a press release.
The Tibetan Buddhist festival is celebrated on the first day of the Tibetan calendar, which corresponds to a date in either February or March in the Gregorian calendar.
Losar is celebrated for 15 days with the main celebrations occurring within the first three days.
Families prepare for Losar several days in advance by cleaning and decorating their homes with fragrant flowers and signs painted in flour.
They also prepare cedar, rhododendron, and juniper branches for burning as incense.
During this time of preparation, families settle their debts and put an end to interpersonal conflict.
In addition, they purchase new clothes for the celebration and make special food such as kapse (fried twists) and chang (barley beer).
It is customary to craft a sheep’s head from colored butter as a decoration, because the words “sheep’s head” and “beginning of the year” sound similar in Tibetan.
“It is a pleasure to celebrate Losar with the United Sherpa Association. It is an honor to participate in such a noble ancient tradition with my Tibetan constituents and their families. I wish them all a peaceful and prosperous Year of the Dog,” said Dromm.