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“Locho” is a local term refers to an annual religious practice aimed at appeasing local deities, fostering peace, and ensuring prosperity within the family. This tradition, observed during the winter season, involves families coming together to make offerings to their protective deities, creating a festive atmosphere that combines both religious and social elements.

As a religious ritual, locho serves as an opportunity for families to express gratitude and make amends to their tutelary deities. The ritual involves creating representations of deities using torma, dough, and butter sculptures, inviting them to partake in offerings. Confessions and supplications are chanted to rectify any past shortcomings, with household members participating in prostrations. The ceremony typically concludes with rituals aimed at enhancing longevity and wealth.

Locho typically occurs in winter, coinciding with a hiatus in agricultural activities. In certain villages, this annual event involves the host family generously offering meals not only to their neighbors but also to passersby. The motivation behind this hospitality is purely to accrue virtuous deeds rather than seeking personal benefits. As evening approaches, both hosts and guests engage in traditional dances to our cultural tunes. In earlier times, the festivities would continue until midnight, with non-dancers and young children contentedly observing the lively dances and relishing the communal gathering.

In earlier times, when meat was scarce, locho featured a significant amount of meat as a special delicacy, and animals were specifically slaughtered for this occasion. However, with meat no longer being a rarity and a rising awareness of vegetarianism, religious leaders such as Je Khenpo now counsel people to refrain from including meat in their offerings. Offering meat is deemed inappropriate if compassionate deities, who value all sentient beings, are invited to accept the offerings.

One should make the best of one’s offering to the deities, but the quality of the offerings is not in the material value of the things offered. It is in the purity of the heart and devotion. Thus, it is important to make an offering with genuine faith and generosity. Lochoe should not be to impress the neighbors. It is also important to offer appropriate things to please the deities. One must make an offering of one’s services to their cause to help sentient beings and strive to live up to their enlightened ideals. One must make amends for negative actions and promise to engage in positive and wholesome actions. 

Experience the magic of Bhutanese winter and participate in the vibrant Locho festival. Join us for an unforgettable journey filled with culture, tradition, and community spirit. Discover our tours and book your adventure today!”

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