Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tibetan Buddhists Receive Blessings ahead of Losar

Large crowds of Tibetan Buddhists gathered at a prominent monastery in the holy city of Lhasa on Friday to receive blessings in a centuries-old religious ritual, a prelude for celebrations of the Losar, or Tibetan New Year.

About 200,000 pilgrims traveled to Sera Monastery on the outskirts of Lhasa from across the Tibet Autonomous Region and Tibetan areas in the neighboring Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces for the annual Sera Bengqin Festival.

The festival is typically celebrated four days before the Tibetan New Year, and the ritual has been held at Sera Monastery for centuries since it was first initiated in the 17th century.

Most of the pilgrims arrived at daybreak. They held ceremonial scarves and prayed while moving slowly in long queues outside of the monastery. They eventually proceeded to the Vajra Pestle, a monastery treasure, for the blessings.

Tibetans believe the enshrined instrument, first buried by the Indian master who brought Esoteric Buddhism to the highland some 1,300 years ago, can bring good fortune and ward off disasters.

A Living Buddha gently touched the head of each worshiper with the instrument wrapped in yellow brocade while the clergy chanted sutras.

"The clergy began preparing for the ritual at least a week in advance," said Sonam, a monk at Sera Monastery.

Tsering Zhoigar, 65, took a train to Lhasa from her Xigaze home for the Sera Bengqin. "Many people in my hometown suffered losses in an earthquake last year," she said. "I hope we are all blessed in the new year."

The ritual brought a business boom as pilgrims flooded stores near the monastery for last-minute shopping ahead of the Tibetan New Year, buying lots of Tibetan incense and other items for worship.

Tashi Doje, a store-keeper near the monastery, said he made at least 3,000 yuan (456.6 U.S. dollars) on Friday morning.

Official figures show Tibet has 1,787 religious sites with more than 46,000 monks and nuns. Religious rituals and festivals are well observed to keep the Tibetan culture intact.
  Xinhua -

No comments:

Post a Comment

ethnologia news only

Five million of our brothers: It is Turks who will shape Europe's future

Europe's future depends on the Turks who live there, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a large public rally on Thursday.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin