There is a three day holiday for the Himalayan Region New Year and the Tibetan New Year. The Himalayan Region New Year (Sonam Losar) is commonly known as Ladakhi New Year or Farmer’s New Year. People in Ladakh, Sikkim and other Himalayan regions celebrate it on the first day of the eleventh Tibetan month. The New Year festivals are especially looked forward to by the little monks. Sometimes special games are planned for the young monks and prizes given to the winners.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday and the birthdays of His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang and Chungtsang Rinpoches are celebrated with prayers in the morning at Jangchubling Temple and it is a holiday for everyone.
On the first day of the New Year lunch is served to all members of DKI branches and to guests. There are song and dance performances by children from neighboring schools and sometimes the monks also recite or sing religious songs.
Summer holiday is the same for all monks and nuns. As the young monks from Nepal come from remote areas near the Tibetan border they do not go home for several years because it is so far and costly so many of them remain at Jangchubling throughout the summer.
“It is wonderful to see the beneficial changes after the arrival of the new monks at Jangchubling from remote areas. They gain weight, they learn to keep themselves and their robes clean and tidy and they get educated,” states a volunteer at DK Institute.