Losar is the Tibetan New Year! Tibetan New Year is the most important festival in Tibet. It is an occasion when Tibetan families reunite and expect a better coming year. Known as Losar, the festival starts from 1st to 3rd of the 1st Tibetan month. Specially made offerings are offered to family shrine deities; doors are painted with religious symbols; other painstaking jobs are done to prepare for the event.
Losar is the Tibetan New Year and the first two weeks, in particular, commemorate the time when the Buddha uncharacteristically displayed his power by doing a number of miracles to win over hundreds (if not thousands) of disciples from a teacher who was a non-believer of what the Buddha taught and challenged him to a dual of mystical powers. At the end of the two-week period, the Buddha had clearly won the match, and as a result, all present converted to the practices taught by the Buddha.
The new year spawns a time of increase in virtuous activity amongst Buddhist practitioners. Any actions done during that period of time, for better or worse, are multiplied in their power by virtue of being in alignment or out of alignment with the great deeds the Buddha himself did during this same astrological period over 2500 years ago. It is a very powerful time to practice and increase one’s commitment to both practice and study as the power of that magical event can be harnessed to assist in our personal evolution towards enlightenment. ~ from the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition website. (Please visit the FPMT site, it is full of worthwhile information)
~ This is the Year of the Metal Rabbit, you may see it also written as Iron Rabbit. ~
Here is a link to the Official Ceremony of Tibetan Losar 2011 at Tsuglag Khang, Dharamsala on First day of Losar (March 5, 2011) :