Tibetan Losar(new year )
09.03.2010 7 °C
'Monlam' also known as The Great Prayer Festival, falls on 7th -15th day of the 1st Tibetan month in Amdo( during Losar, Tibetan new year). The event was originally established in Central Tibet in 1409 by Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelukpa tradition.
In 1517, Gedun Gyatso became the abbot of Drepung monastery and in the following year, he revived the Monlam Chenmo, the Great Prayer Festival and presided over the events with monks from Sera, Drepung and Gaden, the three great monastic Universities of the Gelugpa Sect.
"The main purpose of the Great Prayer Festival is to pray for the long life of all the holy Gurus of all traditions, for the survival and spreading of the Dharma in the minds of all sentient beings, and for world peace. The communal prayers, offered with strong faith and devotion, help to overcome obstacles to peace and generate conducive conditions for everyone to live in harmony."
A cultural spark from the central Tibet fell right into the heart center of Amdo Regione, started into flame with the pace of the time. In Amdo, regions like, Repkong, Labrang, and Ngawa still kept it unique cultural a live even though the historical damages effected these area so badly.
Most of the events are happening in during the Losar, Tibetan new year(at the baginning of February ).as they have more spare time. A part from the religious activities, traditional marriages also take place during the losar.
In the major monasteries, they would be special prayer sessions and ritual performances like Shampalinkor(Maytria procession), Thanka display(a huge scrol-painting), Ganapuja, the ritual dance,'Cham' kown as Masked dance and the 'Zur Tor'(triangle Torma, used to be made of flash and blood but now substiuated elaborate butter and Tsampa ) This Torma would finally be taken away, after a day long rituals of Cham, to an open area and burn it.
For this Great Prayer Festival, I have organized a group and Following are our customized itinerary and program.
Day 1. 20th Feb. Arrival at Xining airport, leave for Repkong, on route visit my village, explore some of the villages lives and visit the Cham in Sangeshong Yago.
Day 2. 21th Feb. visit Rongwo Monastery, and Ganapuja, Assembling.In the afternoon visit Sangeshong Mago for Thanka display.
Day 3. 22th Feb. visit Gonmar Monastery, for the Tsok (ganapuja) Milk tea offering and breads. And Thanka display.
Day 4. 23rd Feb. visit Sangeshong Mago for the Cham dance and the Torma dumping
Day 5.24th Feb. Drive to labrang Tashikyil via Gainja grassland.
Day 6. 25th Beb. Visit Thanka display in Labrang and nomads procession.
Day 7. 26th Feb. Drive to Dobi , Xinhua,visit the historical self-rising Stupa
Day 8. 27th Feb. Drive to the airport and exit.
20th Feb. Arrival at Xining airport. Around 2pm we left immediately for Repkong. On route we visit my village, Karothang. They liked very much visit such village. There was public dance performance in the village but we were about 10 minuts late and missed the dance. We did not miss the village people. My western client had a great fun with them and the village people had wonderful visit to these aliens(strangers) too. They had mutul enjoyments. After having had a milk tea we left for Repkong. It was was getting dark by the time we arrived there . We stayed in Repkong Hotel and had dinner.
21st Feb. In the morning (9:am) we visited Rongwo Gonchen(a Gelukpa monastery built in 1301). This is the biggest monastery in Repkong. there were many pilgrims from all over Repkong. In the afternoon we went to see the Thanka Display in Sanygeshong Mago. Initially monks performed all the ritual parts and then, about an hour and half hour later, the monks lead the way with all the music towards the Thanka-display site. Meanwhile the lay people, mostly younger, carried the 25metter long thanks on their shoulder while chanting Migtsema, a memorial phrase for the great master, Tsongkhapa, and followed the monks. The display site is located on a hill side. It’s carried to the top and scrolled down in slow pace. The monks continued their session. The display lasts only about 40 minutes and then it is rolled up and bring it carried back to the monastery.
show you around.
24.05.2009 15 °C