In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

As part of a cycle dedicated to travel in Tibet, we continue to tell you about the most mysterious place on Earth. This release is dedicated to the celebration of Buddha's birthday in the city Gyanja.

Glanze, the next city on our way, is 90 km from rikaze (in the direction of Lhasa). Height above sea level of almost 4000 metres. Using Glanza is "friendship Road", connecting Lhasa and Kathmandu.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

It's a small regional city with a relaxed way of life. This city can be called the Tibetan.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

In Ganze, as elsewhere in Tibet, the Chinese also live. Their homes can be quite easy to distinguish from those in which Tibetans live. Rooftop Tibetan houses always stands the Tree of life (though in this area, it is more like a Bush or a broom). In Chinese homes nothing like this.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Here only two attractions. First city "Dzong" (fortress). In 1904, the defenders heroically repulsed the attacks of the superior British forces for 2 weeks and Fort remained impregnable. After a little thought, we decided that is not going to "conquer" it, too steep slopes on which it is located.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Instead, we went to another interesting place is the palkhor monastery of Code.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Find the road to the monastery was easy — there have already flocked to the locals to celebrate the festival of Saga Dawa is the birthday of Sakyamuni Buddha.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

The Tibetans do not miss the opportunity in between to twist prayer wheel "Khor", which closed the mantra. Rotate the drum needs clockwise to the mantra was moving in the right direction.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

On the way to the monastery there are several shops where you can buy water, chips, etc. Or just sit on a bench near the entrance.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Trade is not only in the shops. Someone sells their products directly on the road.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Finally we got to the monastery and along with the ubiquitous Tibetan grandparents passed over the fence. I must say that the Tibetan grandma is very cool, and you should not stand in their way, especially in such big days.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

The monastery was founded in 1418 and now belongs to the Gelugpa school. Although it has and the building of the Sakya school. Today the monastery is home to about hundred monks, and at the best of times there were up to three thousand.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Despite the early morning, visitors were already quite a lot.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Although the main ceremonies of the holiday was only a few hours in advance visitors tried to take a comfortable seat.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

The Holy festival of Saga Dawa is a lunar month, however, the climax falls on the full moon. We had to come to this city just after lunch, but decided to change the route to get to the celebration.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

This day was to be held the dancing lamas and fire offering to the Buddhas. The monks had already prepared for him a special pedestal by pouring colored sand mandala.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

In order not to lose time, we decided to first explore the main temple, which is called Goman. All photos indoors made illegal, as the cost per photo is very decent, and the money we had for food.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Inside is quite dark, but everywhere there are interesting statues and thangkas, and the walls are decorated with wonderful frescoes.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

The Gelugpa school is sometimes called "deltasubani" because its founder, Lama Tsonkapa, the desire to get back to basics and decided that his followers would not wear red, and saffron cloth and hats. This color apparel was worn by the Buddha Shakyamuni. Same color caps can be seen on the statues of the teachers in the school.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Mandala Vajrakilaya. The main attribute of this Buddha is a three-edged dagger kila (or "phurba" in Tibetan). With this dagger, he cut off the main negative qualities of the person — anger, attachment and ignorance.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

On the altars of the temple stand lamps, one of the favorite Tibetans offerings. They buy the Yak butter in advance in the shop or right at the entrance to the monastery, and then enclose it in lamps.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Around the main temple are the buildings of the school, where they teach young monks.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

A real gem Glances and palkhor monastery of Code is the Kumbum stupa, Stupa or a hundred thousand Buddhas. It has a height of 32 meters. This stupa in typical Nepali style that embodies the main elements of the universe: Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space. On six floors of the stupa, 78 cells in total there are hundred thousand of the Buddha — statues, tangka, frescoes. The place is just fantastic. At the entrance to the stupa carefully check all bags and are not allowed to bring in cameras.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Meanwhile, the celebrations were about to begin.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

The audience took a comfortable place on the ground.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Offerings for the fire Puja is ready.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

He began the ceremony.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Went to the site of the monks in the crowns and colorful robes and singing lead, and the sound of drums and trumpets began to perform the intricate dance-dance.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

In between dancing were a monk in disguise the evil spirit.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

We didn't understand what he was going to do, and he took out of the bag of flour and began to sprinkle the people who got us in full. All clothes, camera, backpacks were white.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

With him ran a few boys, monks, depicting his servants, harmful spirits.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

The main task of the spirits — mischief man. They sprinkled the audience barley flour, stealing hats or other items...

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

...and even stole children, then to ride them on horseback.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

For young Tibetans it was a terrible sight. They cried and hid behind the adults.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

But the adults watched the scene with interest and laughter.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

It is believed that people who suffered from the spirits during the holiday, lucky — throughout the year, they will not feel their harmful influence.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Judging by the amount of flour, the Tibetan will be the happiest person in the coming year!

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

"Offend" the spirits are mostly elderly people. This is understandable — young is easier to cope with adversity on their own, but the old man needs help. We were all white and happy and then long laundered at the hotel from the flour!

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

The spirits made a final circle...

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

...and began to distribute to those who were offended, special silk scarves "hadak". In Tibet it is a sign of the highest respect and reverence.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

Fire Puja came to an end. At some point, the Tibetans began to prostrate in front of the fire. At first they were a bit, then came a crowd, and the duty of the Chinese police had to return them to their places. However, any violent actions, the police behaved quite correctly.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

When the fire has burned out, the monks danced the last dance, was surrounded by evil spirits and took them for themselves. It symbolized the victory over the spirits, who now can not create obstacles to Buddhist practice.

In search of magic: how to celebrate Buddha's birthday

After zeremonie people began to gather home, and we drove on. Ahead Of Lhasa.

Photo: Ekaterina Ageeva / Text: Sergey Martynov

Keywords: Asia | Tibet | Travel | Birthday | Buddha | In search of magic

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