Last updated: 28/3/2016
NEPALESE PRAYER FLAGS
Brightly coloured cloths, with woodblock-printed text and images, as used in healing ceremonies and strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas, blessing the countryside and offering good cheer to travellers, promoting peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom.
Prayer Flags from Nepal – mini (£1.50 or pack of 5 for £6), small (£2.25), medium (£3) and large (£3.75)
The five colours – blue, white, red, green, and yellow – represent the five elements. Blue symbolises the sky and space, white symbolises the air and wind, red symbolises fire, green symbolises water, and yellow symbolises earth. A balance of these elements produces health and harmony according to traditional Tibetan medicine.
Tibetans do not suggest these flags carry prayers to gods; rather, prayers and mantras are blown by the wind, spreading good will and compassion into all pervading space, bringing benefit to all, becoming a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from exposure to the elements.
Just as life moves on and is replaced by new life, Tibetans renew their hopes for the world by continually mounting new flags alongside the old – welcoming life’s changes and acknowledging that all beings are part of a greater ongoing cycle.
Because the symbols and mantras on prayer flags are sacred, they should be treated with respect. They should not be placed on the ground or used on clothing. Old prayer flags should be burned.
INDIAN SARI BUNTING
Recycled Sari Bunting (£5) – 2 metres; made in India.