Butter Lamp Festival 2012

Butter Lamp Festival is an important religious festival in Tibet held in commemoration of Tsongkhapa who was one of the greatest religious figures of Tibet. The Butter Lamp Festival 2012 was celebrated on the December 8.
It is said that Tsongkhapa was died on either the 15th or 25th of the 10th month in the lunar-based calendar, with the 25th being the most commonly acknowledged day. Tsongkhapa was founded the Gelug sect., which revived the Buddhist religion in a purer form.

Distinguished by their yellow hats, Tsongkhapa’s followers are well known for their celibacy, monastic discipline, and scholarship. Both the Dalai Lamas and the Panchen Lamas belong to this order.

During the Butter Lamp Festival, the butter lamps glitter like twinkling stars landing on the plateau of the night sky in Tibet. People sing and dance around these lamps for several days during what many call the merriest holiday in Tibet – the Butter Lamp Festival.

The Butter Lamp Festival, traditionally celebrated on January 15th on the Tibetan calendar, is also known as the Losar Lantern Festival or the Tibetan New Year.

Ghee, made from yak milk, is a treasure of Tibetan cuisine and a favorite of Tibetan people. To celebrate this holiday, people use butter to make works of art known as “butter flowers”, which take the shape of Buddha figures, landscapes, pavilions, birds and beasts as well as flowers and trees.

During the Butter Lamp Festival, Tibetans go out to pray and spin their prayer wheels to wish for good luck and happiness. Monasteries inside Tibet also hold ceremonies and are decorated with many lanterns and streamers at night. Actors in embroidered gowns wear Tibetan opera masks and dance and sing together to the accompaniment of tubas, drums and gongs. Trellises with ghee flowers are put up in the main streets and people light ghee lamps for good luck. The ghee flowers look extremely beautiful in the flashing of the lamp lights.

source: Tibettravel.Org, 31 OCT 2013

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