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Tibetan New Year, colorful prayer flags to be hung for blessing

By Megan Source:China Tibet News 2017-02-14

"The prayer flag tree" is called "Tajiao" in the Tibetan language, which is the symbol of happiness and good fortune. It will be replaced with new prayer flag trees every year during the Tibetan New Year. While entering December of the Tibetan calendar, more and more people shall sell prayer flag trees on the streets of Lhasa. These swaying prayer flag trees at many road junctions add a lot of color to the city.

Colorful prayer flags are the symbol of happiness and good fortune.

Prayer flag trees become one of the best sellers on Lhasa market when it comes to the Tibetan New Year as the prayer flag trees are the necessity for Tibetan New Year.

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A Tibetan was carrying prayer flag trees, which symbolize auspiciousness and good fortune.

Usually, we can see colorful prayer flags everywhere in Tibet. For Tibetan families, the prayer flags in five colors are believed to bring peace, compassion, wisdom, and strength.

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Sewing the multi-colored prayer flags onto tree branches makes a prayer flag tree. Tibetans pray for good harvests and good luck in the coming year by sticking the new prayer flag trees onto the roofs as the Tibetan New Year comes every year.

The Tibetan New Year starts on the first day of January in Tibetan calendar and lasts for half a month. All kinds of religious activities will be held to celebrate the New Year. A good day after the Jan. 1 is carefully selected to replace prayer flag trees. On that day, all family members dress their best clothes up and prepare some festival food and offerings, then climb up to the top of their house to replace the prayer flag trees.

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Different colors of prayer flag trees have their special meanings.

Traditionally, prayer flags come in sets of five: one in each of five colors. The five colors are arranged from left to right in a specific order: blue, white, red, green, and yellow. The five colors represent the five elements and the five pure lights. Different elements are associated with different colors for specific traditions, purposes and sadhana. Blue symbolizes the sky and space, white symbolizes the air and wind, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth. According to Traditional Tibetan medicine, health and harmony are produced through the balance of the five elements.

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