The official calendar in Tibet is called the lunar

by:SanTong     2020-06-25
The first and foremost Tibetan calendar was dated back to 1027 which was a year of Fire-Rabbit hence the Fire-Rabbit is regarded as the first year in Tibetan lunar calendar. It consists of five elements and twelve animals. Fire, Water, Iron, Wood and Earth are the five elements and Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Bird, Dog, Pig, Mouse, Ox, and Tiger are the twelve animals. The connection between the five elements and the twelve animals is that each element rules two year in a row and then changes while each animal rules one year at a time. In this way the elements and the animals rotate in Tibetan lunar calendar. The upcoming 2014 is the year of wood horse. It is a holy year in Tibetan calendar because it is said that the Lord Buddha was born in the horse year. Pilgrimage or circumambulating around sacred temples, monasteries and holy mountains or lakes in such a sacred year is much more fruitful than any other years. Pilgrims can wash away all their sins and earn infinity merits. During Saga Dawa Festival, a grand festival in Tibetan Buddhism held in the fourth month in Tibetan calendar, the merits are further multiplied because the Lord Buddha was born, enlightened and passed away in this month. Next year, all corners of Tibet will be busy. Thousands of traditionally costumed Tibetans will do pilgrimage to all sacred places in different regions of Tibet. There will be children, teenagers, adults and elders who will do the same religious activities. People with prayers wheels in hand can be seen everywhere and the sound of murmuring mantras can be heard at any place. Monasteries, nunneries, temples and chapels will be full of incense smokes. Especially in lunar April, most sacred places will be crowded with followers of Buddhism, Bon, Hinduism and Jainism. All people will skip non-vegan meals and consume vegan meals for the whole month because it is more effective to do religion and goodness in this month, like avoiding harming animals and environment. The belief and faith that Tibetans have in Buddhism is non-defeat able even in this modern society. Mt. Kailash in western Tibet is a holy mountain for Tibetans and is believed as the navel of the universe or the abode of the sky goddess Sipaimen by Tibetans. For Hindus, it is the home of the Shiva god and a symbol of his power symbol of OM. For Jains it is where their first lead was enlightened. Due to above religious reasons all followers of the above religions also do circumambulate the holy mountain to earn infinite merits and get rid of sins. It is popular for followers of both Bon and Buddhism to circumambulate the holy mountain on Saga Dawa Festival as a saying goes 'one circumambulation around the holy Mt. Kailash on Saga Dawa, especially in the year of horse, is equal to thirteen times'. Thirteen circumambulations will wash away all the sins of a lifetime. Moreover, Tibetans also follow the principle of prayers and wishes for all the sentient being. Tibetans believe that they will have a healthier and happier life by freeing domestic animals and doing some rituals for the animals on Saga Dawa Festival. They will also put a piece of cloth or a rope on the animals' ear or body, which signifies that the particular animals are freed and no one dares to kill or catch those animals.
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