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cathyz
19 May 2020, 04:12 AM
Tibetan religious believers welcome the annual religious festival "Lhabab Duchen" on September 22. This is the day when Buddha Sakyamuni came down to earth. Believers will worship the Buddha statues, add oil to the butter lamp, and pray for the blessing from the Buddha during the festival.

Lhabab Duchen is Tibetan, which translates as Buddha Return Festival. According to the Tibetan Buddhism (https://www.greattibettour.com/tibetan-culture/tibetan-buddhism-facts.html) doctrine, "Lhabab Duchen" is the day when Buddha Sakyamuni return to earth. Another saying is after when Sakyamuni is 7 years old, he rose to thirty-three levels of the heavens and repays his mother's grace (Madam Maya) by preaching. Sakyamuni returned to the ancient India Kingdom of Kashi on this day, so this day is called "descent from heaven" or "Buddha return" day. Lhabab Duchen is on September 22 of the Tibetan calendar. It is an important religious festival of Tibetan Buddhism. It is one of the four major Sakyamuni Festivals. The other 3 are the Great Prayer Festival in the 1st Tibetan month, Saga Dawa Festival in April, and Chaoshan Festival in early June. In order to commemorate this day, Tibetan Buddhists hold Buddhist activities in various temples every year to welcome the Buddha to return to the world, promote the Dharma, and save all living beings. And the religious masses should reverently pray, turning their prayer wheels, and provide offerings in order for protection.
Traditionally, in preparation for Lhabab Duchen, Tibetan temples of all sizes have their outer walls painted. During this period, believers will spontaneously donate milk, brown sugar, etc. as paint. Tibetan religious believers also clean the dust of their own prayer rooms, burn incense and worship Buddha, hoping for the arrival of the Buddha. The Tibetan people believe that the Buddha saw it from heaven and would be determined to return to earth. On this day, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries will hold a variety of Buddhist activities, chanting, worshiping, to commemorate the Buddha descent. In Lhasa, Tibet, monks hold a solemn meeting to make offerings to Buddha statues in the Jokhang Temple, Ramoche Temple, and the Potala Palace, and offer alms-giving to the Drepung, Sera and Ganden monasteries, praying for a return.

The believers also offer sacrifices or help the poor according to their financial resources. Since early morning, thousands of worshippers have been lining up at the gate of the Jokhang temple in Lhasa, waiting to worship the statue of Buddha in the temple and add ghee to the incense lamp, praying for the Buddha's blessing of happiness and safety for their families. After worshiping the Buddha in Jokhang temple, the believers began to turn the prayer wheels and pray, following the traditional Linkhor road route, through the Chokpori, Norbulingka, Potala Palace, and other places. One of the most important prayer activities is the sacrifice to dispel evil spirits with fire and smoke. Every sacrifice burner on the Barkhor street around the Jokhang temple is crowded with believers, who scramble to fill it with Tibetan food (https://www.greattibettour.com/lhasa-travel-tips/cuisine-in-lhasa-1561) like pine branches, barley grains, Zanba, yak butter, etc.