Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags are traditionally used to encourage and share peace, wisdom, compassion, and strength. Tibetans believe the wind will blow the prayers and mantras upwards, spreading goodwill and compassion and bringing happiness and good health to all who hang them as well as their families, loved ones and neighbours.
10 flags 18cms x 14cms on a string (other sizes are also available)
The fluttering flags (Lungta) are actually colourful cotton cloth squares connected along their top edge to a long string. Lungta (lung = wind and ta = horse) – a mythical Tibetan creature from pre-Buddhist times that combined the speed of the wind and strength of the horse to carry prayers from earth to the heavens.
Tibetans used blue, white, red, green and yellow to honour the nature gods of Bon, their shamanistic religion. Each colour represents the five elements, in a particular order;
- blue for sky or space
- white for air or clouds
- red for fire
- green for water
- yellow for earth
As Buddhism grew the flags were adapted to contain Buddhist symbols and mantras, and became known as prayer flags.
It is natural for Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags to fade and fray. The flags are intentionally left unhemmed for this to happen. This is symbolic of the inevitable passing of all things. New prayer flags can be hung over the old ones. Or take the old ones down and burn them to release the last of the blessings.
Basundhara Ghimire has a small stall on the side of a street in Thamel selling jewellery, pencil cases and purses. Buying our flags and other products direct from Basundhara helps her to support her young daughter Rubi to stay in school.
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