Raised the “Wind Horse” Banner, Which Will Take Your Wishes to Fly on Kham Plateau


The Wind Horse is the literal translation of the Tibetan word Longda. Long means wind, and Da means horse. Ther...

The Wind Horse is the literal translation of the Tibetan word “Longda”. “Long” means wind, and “Da” means horse. Therefore, this word can be translated as “Wind Horse”, “Wind Horse prayer banners”, “Wind Horse Buddhist sutra banners”, “Wind Horse banners”, “prayer banners” and so on, for horse patterns are also printed on these banners. The typical Wind Horse pray banners are rectangular or square five-colored cloth or paper banners, which are usually 10 - 60 cm long.

At the Tibetan areas’ plateau lakes, river and bridge banks, mountain passes, rock caves, temples and their halls, palaces, fortresses, pagodas, Mani stone piles, the top of residential houses, huge rocks, ancient trees, sheer cliffs, narrow passes, mountain tops or even crossroads, or any other place that the locals think are sacred, people will see such prayer banners, which have five colors: red, yellow, blue, green, and white. Each banner has a horse printed on it, and carries the Three Treasures, the Dharani Mantra, the Six Syllable Mantra, Buddhist scriptures, or all kinds of Buddhas’ graphic patterns.

They are hung in a horizontal or vertical manner, or inserted to hang, fluttering in the wind forever, making the flapping sound, which seems to be like they murmur the scriptures written on the banners all the time. When every Tibetan travels a long distance and climbs onto any mountain peak or cross any bridge, they will take off their hat, shout their auspicious Buddhist scriptures, throw the five-colored paper prayer banners which bear horse patterns to the sky, and burn cypress twigs to salute, to show their veneration of and sacrifice to their gods: Year God (Mountain God), Praise God (God of Heaven), Dragon God (God of Water). These five-colored prayer banners can be found everywhere in the Tibetan areas.

Source: Article/Kham Tibetan Folk Culture

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