Sonam Lhosar is a new year festival of the Tamang and Yolmo people of Nepal and the Sikkim and Darjeeling regions of India. It falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice which is usually the Magh Sukla Pratipada based on the eastern lunar calendar. Years are associated with 12 different animals - Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat/Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. Sonam in Tamang language means agriculture. Historically, the festival is celebrated after harvesting the crops.
In Sonam Lhosar the Tamang people visit monasteries and stupas where special rituals with mask dance are performed to drive away evil spirits. The houses and surroundings are cleaned to welcome gods and goddesses.
Pork, chicken, mutton, fish, and sweet deserts are consumed in the Sonam Lhosar. Khapsey and Babar (kind a like chapati but made of rice) and Thongsey are mainly eat in Hyolmo Community.
People wear traditional dresses and jewellery to participate in cultural events and exchange the greetings with each another. Tamang Selo and the Damphu is played in the festival for dance. Syabru is commonly dance in Hyolmo Community.