Tibetan New Year 2018 will be celebrated on Friday 16 February this year. At IBA monks and staff will have a holiday from Wed 14 Feb to Tues 20 Feb and classes will resume on Wed 21 Feb. This will enable everyone to meet with their families and friends and prepare for the celebrations. Monks at IBA will prepare special foods including the tasty kapse biscuits. Losar is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days. Losar occurs near or on the same day as the Chinese New Year and the Mongolian New Year, but the traditions of Losar are unique to Tibetans. Families prepare for Losar some days in advance by thoroughly cleaning their homes; decorating with fragrant flowers and their walls with auspicious signs painted in flour such as the sun, moon and preparing cedar, rhododendron, and juniper branches for burning as incense.