TIBETANS CELEBRATE BUTTER LAMP FESTIVAL
Tibetans lit butter lamps and prayed through the night in an annual festival commemorating Tsong Khapa, a master of Tibetan Buddhism, on Friday. At 4 pm, monks gathered for prayers at the Jokhang Temple in the heart of Lhasa, capital of Southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region.
Thousands of pilgrims and believers gathered around the temple to join the prayers.
More than 8,000 butter lamps were lit on top of the temple building, in prayer halls and in monks’ residences.
“Ganden Atsok” is celebrated on the 25th day of the 10th month according to the Tibetan calendar. Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelupga, the “yellow sect” of Tibetan Buddhism, died on that day in 1419.
Monks chant sutras in his praise. Believers pray for happiness and good health.
Yangdron, a Lhasa resident, lit 108 lamps at her home. “I started to melt the butter two days before the festival. It is an important day,” she said.
Last Friday, similar ceremonies were held in monasteries at Sera and Zhaibung, also in Lhasa.
Monks light butter lamps on the top of the Jokhang Temple.
A monk lights butter lamps on the top of the Jokhang Temple in the heart of Lhasa, capital of Southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region.
Butter lamps are lit on the top of the Jokhang Temple during the festival.