Buddhist prayer flags hang on a long cord and have been hung in special places by the Tibetans for thousands of years. Mantras and prayers written on the flags are thought to be spread when the wind blows. You can buy prayer flags with the intention of bringing peace, prosperity, strength, wisdom and compassion to family, friends and even enemies. The flags with the colored square pieces of printed textiles are particularly associated with Tibetan Buddhism, but can also be found frequently in Nepal.
At Spiru you can buy Tibetan prayer flags in all shapes and sizes. There are garlands of 5 or 8 meters. The flags also come in different sizes so you can buy small or large flags. In addition, there are also chakra prayer flags. All the flags have beautiful sayings and mantras.
The Tibetans believe that the mantras ascend to the gods on the wind that blows through the flags. By hanging the flags in high places, the wind horse (LungTa) can spread the blessing from the flags to all living things on earth. This would also cleanse the air. In India and Nepal, prayer flags are made by Tibetan Buddhist refugees.
Here in the west we hang tibetan flags on special occasions such as weddings, births, company openings or other important events. In this way, according to the Tibetans, we protect ourselves against all kinds of negative influences and we will attract prosperity and happiness. The most beautiful use is, of course, to hang the Buddhist flags just like the people in Tibet: to wish the whole world peace and harmony.
When putting up new flags, it is advised to hang them at daybreak with the right motivation and intention in mind. It is important that you have positive and selfless thoughts in that moment. Hanging the flags out of self-interest does not benefit you. When hanging, for example, you can wish that everything and everyone experiences happiness and prosperity from your flags. It is also important that you handle the flags with respect. So don’t just throw them in a corner somewhere and make sure they don’t touch the ground.
Today, even in the west, Tibetan prayer flags are found in many households and gardens. You can hang the flags inside as decoration or outside your home. Most importantly, place them somewhere with a breeze. The wind is what moves them and spreads their message around the world. You can make a small contribution to world peace by hanging them on the eaves or balcony, above a gate or doorway, among the trees and especially in places used for peace and reflection.
In such a Buddhist garland you will find five colors in a specific order:
These colors represent the five elements; blue stands for the sky, white for the wind, red for fire, green for water and yellow for earth. The blue flag often hangs a little higher than the rest, and together the five colors ensure harmony. Each element also represents one of the qualities of Buddha: blue stands for self-knowledge, white for equality, red for self-control, green for good action and yellow for living in the moment.
Old prayer flags slowly lose color, especially when hung outside. It is believed that this occurs as the prayers are gradually released into the environment. Since the symbols and mantras are sacred, they should not be placed on the ground. The old flags must be burned after collection. Their last expression of prayer can thus be given to the wind through the smoke. Tibetans always hang a new garland next to the old before they are collected, as a symbol for the cycle of death and rebirth.
Are you curious about these cheerful garlands? If you would like to try Nepalese Prayer Flags, buy them here at Spiru! You can find a wide range of fair trade Tibetan prayer flags in our assortment.
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