Kathmandu, February 12:

The practice of celebrating the Lhosar, the new year of the Buddhist community, on three dates is incorrect and anti-religious, a Buddhist scholar and monk said today.

Speaking at a press conference organised by the Buddhist Welfare Association, Kamal Tamang stressed the need to merge all three Lhosars into one.

“Nowhere else in the world, new year is celebrated thrice in the same calendar year,” Tamang said. Based on Manjushree calendar, the Lhosar should be celebrated on Falgun Sukla Pratipada (the first day of the waxing moon according to the lunar calendar), he said.

“The Buddhist community in the country belongs to the Tibetan Mahayan sect and follows the Manjushree calendar. The Ghyalbo Lhosar celebrated on the Falgun Sukla Pratipada is the authentic one,” he argued.

In Nepal, the Lhosar is celebrated by the Gurung community on Poush Sukla Pratipada as the Tola Lhosar, by the Tamang community on the Magh Sukla Pratipada as the Sonam Lhosar and by the Sherpa and the Tibetan community on the Falgun Sukla Pratipada as the Ghyalbo Lhosar.

According to history of the Mahayan astrology, Chinese and Indian astrologers jointly developed the Manjushree calendar in the eighth century. Tamang said lack of consensus on the issue had diminished the religious value of Buddhism. He stated it had provided astrologically incorrect data resulting in the conflict regarding the important religious issues like birth, marriage and last rites.

Tamang requested all the Lhosar celebrating communities to forge a consensus and celebrate Lhosar together once a year.