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08:26 Mar 02 2012

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Losar continues, Tibetan monasteries to hold prayer meetings
08:26, March 02, 2012  

In southwest China's Tibet, people including monks and nuns are continuing the half-month celebration of the Tibetan Losar.

Auspicious pine branches are burnt while thick smokes wind out of the cement burners, wafting in the air.

Pilgrims takes round-the-clock circular walks around the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, wishing all the best in the New Year.

Traditionally, local monasteries start series of prayer gatherings on the eighth day of the first month on the Tibetan calendar.

Sutra chanting, one of many celebration events are organized independently by the monasteries. Monks believe that their chanting will move the deities whose blessings will favor the world peace and happiness.

Secular followers and Buddhists normally offer alms to monks.

The first grand prayer festival was held on the first day of the year 1409, by Tibetan Buddhist guru Tsongkapa, intended to extend the influence of the young Geluk Order. The festival was successful, and then kept till today.

Monks will also participate the public sutra debating for Geshe Lharampa, one of the highest academic degrees in monastic studies.

"I am going to visit and offer alms to Drepung, Sera, Gainden and other monasteries in the following days, to pray health and peace for my family," Sonam from local Lhasa said.

The prayer meeting period will last and culminate about one week later, on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month.

From: China Tibet Online

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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