Wind Horse
Tibetan Religion and Culture

Wind Horse

Steeped in ancient, pre Buddhist times, the wind horse is the bearer of good fortune. Depicted running and bearing the flaming jewel that fulfi...

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A Visit to Labrang
Tibetan Religion and Culture

A Visit to Labrang

80 km from the Norlha workshop is the town of Labrang, or Serchu, dominated by Labrang Tashikyil Monastery, a sprawling complex the size of a s...

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The Ngaring
Tibetan Religion and Culture

The Ngaring

Each year on a summer day, all the people in the village, dressed in the best, make their way to the monastery and stand outside the main hall ...

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Sagadawa
Tibetan Religion and Culture

Sagadawa

Sagadawa celebrates the birth of the Buddha, which is marked on the full moon of the fifth lunar month. For Mahayana Buddhists around the world...

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Monlam, the Great Prayer Festival
Tibetan Religion and Culture

Monlam, the Great Prayer Festival

The origin of Great Prayer Festival was to mark the display of the Buddha’s miraculous powers and the defeat of his doctrinal opponents in the ...

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New Year, New Light
Tibetan Religion and Culture

New Year, New Light

On the Tibetan Plateau, Losar, or New Year is the most celebrated event of the year, a time for family reunions, weddings and new beginnings. D...

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Winter Wedding
Tibetan Religion and Culture

Winter Wedding

Winter is the wedding season. It is the time of year when the animals stay near the nomad’s winter settlements, feeding on oats or the little g...

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Winter Pilgrims
Tibetan Religion and Culture

Winter Pilgrims

For rural Tibetans, maximum leisure comes with winter. The harvest long over, farmers turn to other occupations and the bare pasture keeps the ...

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The Throwing or Ritual Cakes
Tibetan Religion and Culture

The Throwing or Ritual Cakes

Every year, Ritoma holds the ceremony of throwing the ‘Torkya’ or Ritual Cake. Triangular in shape and over four feet high, torkyas are red and...

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Yaks and Transport
Tibetan Religion and Culture

Yaks and Transport

There are 13 million yaks on the Tibetan Plateau. Before the age of trade and globalization, they were the center of Tibetan life, providing mi...

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The Lama Visits
Tibetan Religion and Culture

The Lama Visits

Once every few years, Ritoma is host to an important lama, usually from Labrang. It is a great honor for the village and local monastery, whose...

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Silhouettes
Tibetan Religion and Culture

Silhouettes

Ritoma, like many other areas of grassland is a succession of hills and valleys. Nomads pitch their tents on the south facing flank of a hill, ...

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