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The Great Prayer Festival-Monlam

This festival is known as 'Monlam Chemo' in Tibetan. It falls on 4th-11th day of the 1st Tibetan month in Tibetan Buddhism. The event in Tibet was established in 1409 by Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Geluk tradtion. As the greatest religious festival in Tibet, thousands of monks, of the three main monasteries of Drepung, Sera and Ganden, gather for chanting prayers and performing religious rituals at the Jokhng Temple in Lhasa. 

The main purpose for the Festival is to pray for the long life of all the holy Gurus of all traditions, for the survival and spreading of the Dharma in the minds of all sentient beings, and for world peace. The communal prayers, offered with strong faith and devotion, help to overcome obstacles to peace and generate conducive conditions for everyone to live in harmony.

Traditonally, from the New Year's Day until the end of the Monlam, lay Tibetans would make merry. Pilgrims from all over Tibet would join the prayers, and make donations to the monks and nuns. Many other monasteries would hold special prayer sessions and perform religious rituals.

 

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