In every part of Tibet, you can’t miss the prayer flags, which are printed on cloth, hemp, silk and clay paper with the image of sutra mantra, one after another, one after another, scattered on the Tibetan land, in our hearts, in every mountain pass we have crossed. They are fixed in an orderly way on the ropes, clan buildings and branches at the top of the doors. They float and sway between the earth and the sky, forming a realm connecting the earth and the sky.
After careful investigation, a Tibetan friend told me that the “prayer flags” of the mountain pass should actually be called “wind-horse flags”. In fact, they are different, which may be the reason why there are more people saying “prayer flags”. But whatever it is called, it is a faith.
Banners hung in pavilions or pine trees, printed with scriptures, Buddha statues and mascots. Prayer flags in the blue sky and white clouds show more dazzling, in the curl of smoke in the wind. No matter the snow mountains in the distance or the cattle and sheep near, they are all devotees of nature. However, if you walk by at this time, you will surely find that the heaven in your heart seems to have appeared in this boundless plateau only to be discovered.
Like all tangible or intangible arts in Tibetan areas, the creation and dissemination of prayer flags are driven by religious ideas and serve for them. They are a medium for the spiritual world and spiritual communication between monks and laymen. It is generally believed that the wind horse originated from a primitive sacrificial culture, mainly from the worship of animal spirits. The original prayer flags were strung with wool directly onto the branches of the grass, and the heads of cows and sheep can still be seen on the mounds of mani, large and small.
Most of the common prayer flags are made of cloth, but they are also made of hemp yarn, silk and clay paper. Windhorses have squares, angles, stripes, etc., usually 10-60 cm long or square. When the strong wind blows, clusters of wind horses are flying in the background of blue sky, snowy mountains and minghu.
The image of four beasts painted by prayer flags. The tiger lives in the forest. The image of the tiger symbolizes wood or wind. The lion lives on the mountain, the image of the lion symbolizes the earth; The bird flies in the sky, and its horns erupt into flames. This image symbolizes fire. Dragons live in the sea, and the image of ichthyosaurs symbolizes water. Wind is everywhere, wind is the sky.
Yellow flags symbolize natural lotus, red flags symbolize rain, and green flags symbolize descendants. Red flags glitter like antlers on the lawn; Red flags are displayed on the roofs, flourishing like red flags… In the hearts of tibetans, white is pure and kind, red is vigorous and vigorous, green is gentle and gentle, yellow is benevolent and talented, blue is brave and witty. Prayer flags are Tibetan compatriots’ wishes for a better life and their reverence for gods.
Because of the symbolic meaning of color, when farmers change the five-color prayer flags on the roof during the Spring Festival, there are also some simplified ones. Only on a branch with many branches, the single-color cloth is hung from top to bottom, and the image is not printed on the cloth. Instead, a color cloth is arranged horizontally to hang five pieces.
Prayer flags placed in every home are renewed every year. The new day is an auspicious day after the first day of the Tibetan New Year according to the Tibetan calendar. The wind horse flag also has a function that is not easy to see, that is, when there is the death of the living Buddha, every household must put the wind horse flag on the roof tilt, to show sorrow.