Tibetan Prayer Flag

Tibetan Prayer Flag

Tibet cultural travel resource: Before you enter the residential region of Tibetan local people, you will first see numerous colorful prayer flags blowing in the wind, sometimes waving gently, sometimes raging.

The prayer flag is a rectangular cloth. Local people tie them to mountain ridges and mountain peaks to bless the surrounding countryside and their own purposes. 


Originally, Nepal Sutras were written on cloth banners, later the way of praying transmitted to other countries as prayer flags. Right now, the tradition of hanging prayer flags has more than 2000 years history in Tibet. At first, the Buddhist monks printed mantras and symbols on the flags as a way of blessing. These blessing spread out to the world with wind.

Later, people call those flags as prayer flags. In Tibetan language, it is ‘Dar Cho’. The first word, Dar, means to increase life, health, wealth and fortune. And the second word, Cho, means all sentient beings.

The text and symbols are written on those prayer flags, the meaning behind them are based on the most profound concepts of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. The five colors/five elements are used for the flags: yellow for earth, green for water, white for air or clouds, blue for sky or space and red for life.


Traditionally, people use prayer flags to promote peace, strength and wisdom. There is a common misconception that the prayer flags can carry prayers to gods. However, the local Tibetan believe that the prayers and mantras can blow in the wind. And thus they can spread the good will and compassion to all beings.


The prayer flag is sacred in Tibet, so everyone should respect the flags. People need to replace the old prayer flag in the morning on sunny, windy days as the old ones may bring negative results for as long as they are flying with wind.


For more information about Tibetan prayer flag or Tibet travel, you can contact our local Tibet travel agency.

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Yara Ye