Losar (in/near Feb). The Tibetan New Year, celebrated with grand monastic dances (see p.54).

Bumchu Festival (Feb/March). Lamas gather at Tashiding, where a vessel containing holy water is opened and examined – the water level indicates the future of the state.

Losung (Dec). Marks the end of the harvest season. Spectacular masked dances, or chaam, take place at various monasteries.

Dasain (Dussehra; Sept–Oct). The Nepali community celebrates this ten-day Hindu festival marking the victory of good over evil; Goddess Durga is worshipped and her idol immersed in a river.

Tihar (Diwali; Oct–Nov). The Nepali version of Diwali, this is an elaborate five-day affair, when houses are cleaned, adorned with marigolds and lit up.

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