Prayer meeting on lunar January

  The First Lunar Month Viewing, which is the common name in Chinese language called by people near the Ta’er Temple, refers to the great prayer festival. Since it is held in the first lunar month, it is also known as “The First Lunar Month Miraculous assemble”; and it has another name – Circulating Jokhang because it is the assembly in Jokhang Temple. On the eighth day of first lunar month, the Buddhism official will first present hadda and fruit to the abbot and explain the preparations of prayer meeting to him, and then the official will visit the abbot to preach at the meeting. After that, the official with three deacon officials will visit the monks who practice prayer dance, and award them some fruit and food for encouragement. At the same time, assistant official will visit the khenpos in the tree institutes to deliver prayer sutra and other sutras, and inform the monks in the Guardian God Hall to participate in the Buddhist activity.  


  The Buddhist activities during the days from 11 to 14 in first lunar month include preaching, sermon, sacrificing, worshiping Buddha and Bodhisattva, Dharmapala, praying for prosperity of Buddhism, wide circulation of mercy, good weather, health and peace. The 15th day of the first lunar month is the most lively and solemn day. In the day, Buddhist activities like chanting sutras, praying and bathing are still held in the temple. In the afternoon, endless steams of people come to the Great Sutra Hall to tour the temple and watch butter sculptures, making the temple as busy as it is on grand festivals. The monk artists in upper and lower flower institute set up a sunshade. The inwalls of the sunshade will be decorated with thangkas of Buddha statues, while the shelves of several layers are arranged above to display excellent butter sculptures which are elaborately prepared by monk artists in the three months in winter. In addition, hundreds of bright and soft butter Buddhist lamps are placed on the altar in the front of the sunshade. When darkness falls, hundreds of lamps in the Grant Golden Tiled Hall as well as thousands of lamps in the Great Sutra Hall are lit, and monks all get together to chant sutras and play drums.

  On the 16th day of the first lunar month, Buddhism officials like the abbot, three Khenpoes, monk official, Dharmapala, Gegui lama of institutes and chanting leader gather in the Grand Golden Tiled Hall and hold Buddhist activities in front of lamps. They will first chant bathing and prayer sutras and perform bathing ritual, then the abbot will chant dedication sutra and finally all participants will chant “Danbama Sutra” and “Auspicious Wish Song” together. After the ritual, the Dharmapala, who wear ecclesiastical robe and hat with artifact in hand, will be escorted by monks to the Great Sutra hall where the monk official, monks who play the Suona and hold offerings are waiting for him.