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Tibetan Buddhists receive blessings at Lhasa monastery

02-19-2012 08:52 BJT

LHASA, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- After journeying from different parts of China, mostly from the west, ten of thousands of Tibetan Buddhists gathered at a prominent monastery in the holy city of Lhasa on Saturday to receive blessings on a century-old religious ritual.

The annual Sera Bengqin Festival is typically celebrated four days before the Tibetan New Year. The ritual has been held exclusively at Sera Monastery for centuries since it was first initiated in the 17th century.

About 70,000 to 80,000 Tibetan buddhists came from across Tibet Autonomous Region, and areas predominantly inhabited by Tibetans in neighboring Sichuan, Gansu, and Qinghai provinces, for the ritual, according to the monastery.

The pilgrims held pure white hada, a traditional scarf, in hand and prayed while moving slowly in the kilometer-long line outside of the monastery. They eventually proceeded to the Vajra Pestle, a treasure of the monastery, for the blessings.

Tashi Gyaltsen, a monastery monk, said the pilgrims started to queue outside the monastery in Lhasa's frigid winter air as early as 4 a.m. and a more than 5 km-long line was formed right away.

"I feel so good, so happy," said Sonam Nyima, a pilgrim from the Tibetan prefecture of Garze in Sichuan Province.

"I wish all the people can live a long life and stay far from disasters," said another Tibetan pilgrim Chodron.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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