Prayer flag is a rectangular cloth of various colors found in Tibetan areas and high peaks in the Himalayas. The main use of a prayer flag is for promoting peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. Prayer flag consists of various unique symbols, invocations, prayers, and mantras. Tibetan firmly believes the prayer flag brings happiness, long life and prosperity to the flag planter. Specifically, Tibetan Buddhists from centuries have planted these flags outside their homes and many places of spiritual practice.
During the era of Cultural Revolution prayer flags were hugely discouraged but not entirely vanished. Tibetan lost Many traditional styles at that time. Nevertheless, the current prayer flags across the Tibetan regions found are of 2 main types. One is the horizontal one, known as Lung ta which means Wind Horse. The second one is a vertical one, known as Darchor which means flagstaff.
The traditional practice of prayer flag involves 5 dynamic colors in 1 set. The different colours arranged from left to right in a managed way: Blue, White, Red, Green, and Yellow. Different colors represent different elements. Blue symbols sky and space, white symbols air and wind, red symbols fire. Whereas green symbols water and yellow symbols earth. The flag consists of 4 powerful animals in each of the corners of the flag. The dragon, the garuda, the tiger and the snow lion.
The Tibetans has strong belief that the the wind will certainly blow the prayers and mantras for spreading the goodwill and peace into all places. One should hang the flag in the best time which is in the morning on sunny, windy days. Tibetans believe if someone hang flags in inauspicious days then it results in bad news as long as they are flying. Likewise, In the day of every Tibetan New Year, They use to replace old flags by new one . As the symbols and mantras present in prayer flags are sacred they never place it on the ground or use for any clothing purposes. prayers and mantras