By Megan Source:China Tibet News 2017-02-17
Photo taken on Feb. 15, 2017 shows that one seller is selling "Tajiao" which means prayer flags at Zhaxi Road. [Photo/China Tibet News]
Colorful prayer flags are the symbol of happiness and good fortune. "The prayer flag tree" is called "Tajiao" in the Tibetan language, which is the symbol of happiness and good fortune. It shall be replaced with new prayer flag trees every year in the Tibetan families 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. One seller said that the net income of making and selling prayer flags is over RMB 30,000 yuan each year.
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.