In Tibet to Khodoin – Holiday of sour milk

Predridential Lhasa Burlyla. Streets leading to the western outskirts of the capital of Tibet, are braked like during the day. Trucks, taxi, velaiks mixed with a crowded crowd, rushing to the foot of the Mountain Genupiji. On the square before the lift, the police have no longer missed vehicles: from here Pilgrims and tourists continued the way to the Dreparing Monastery with its own.

The only asphalt road leading up, choked in the whirlpool, and the human mass dropped on the shrub’s shrub and rare trees the slopes of the mountain, seeking the shortest way to get to the cherished snow-white walls of monastic buildings.

On the eve, a group of Russian journalists who came to Tibet at the invitation of the press center of the State Council of the PRC, accompanying asked to be completely ready for hours by five in the morning. Otherwise, they threatened them, we will not be able to see the main moment of the clan – the literal holiday of sour milk, when a giant tank is unfolded right on the mountainside – Buddha icon. The warning sounded intriguing, and therefore the dream was shot. Frankly, many newcomers on Tibet did not really sleep in the first days: in Lhasa with its 200 thousand people, spreading at an altitude of 3650 meters above sea level, where we stopped, the lack of oxygen was acutely felt.

Overcoming two-thirds of the route by bus, and the remaining path on foot, we were under the walls of the DREPUNG monastery about seven in the morning. The sun has already poured the mountain ridges with golden light, the valley of the Lhasa River, and we clearly saw what was now proud of Tibet, and all of China – the station, the final point of the highest Railway in the world, built in the traditional Tibetan architecture,. Like all the local monasteries.

Drepung – the largest monastery in Tibet. Since ancient, he was considered the main "University" Dalai Lam and until today enters the top three most significant and revered large monasteries Tibet, along with sulfur and Maldan. Its territory takes approximately 200 thousand square meters, and the number of monks in it by time reaches 10 thousand. Drepung was built at the beginning of the 15th century by a disciple of the Zhonkabab – the founder of the Gelugba sect – "Yolkoshapokhnikov", one of the four sects of Buddhism. At about those days and a holiday of sour milk was born.

By the canons of Galugba, from the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar, the monks are prescribed privacy and strict post. During this period, they are prohibited from leaving the territory of the monastery: all the time they should be carried out in prayers. After completion of multi-day, the monks come out of the monastery and descend to the valley, where they are already waiting for local residents with covered tables, which are broken from all sorts of snacks, fruits, nuts. The main treat is specially cooked sour milk yaks. Chinese, translating this Tibetan term into English, use the word yogurt. However, experts claim that such a translation can be taken with a large stretch, because in China, any kind of stupid and recycled milk is called acidic.

Residents of Lhasa and the surroundings arrange picnics right outside the open sky near the monastery, as well as traditions, invite the warring monks to their home. Practically in each there are chapel rooms, where the owners communicate with the Buddha. Monks can stop there for the night.

Arriving spontaneously, Khodoin eventually acquired the status of the official holiday and the back of new traditions. This is explained by the fact that since 1642, the Drepung monastery has become a center for the political, religious and cultural life of Tibet. Here in the 30th day of the sixth month on the Tibetan calendar (this year this day came on August 12) Tens of thousands of pilgrims come with whole families with acidic milk and other gifts for monks, asked them to touch their tempes and pray for them.

Currently, the holiday is celebrated within five days. On open venues and parks, Lhasa are artists who are accepted by the participants of amateur activities, they give the performances of traditional theatrical troupes.

Khodoin actually became the second most important holiday at Tibet after the New Year, when families are going at the same table, together are satisfied with picnics, participate in festivities – in other words, having fun how they can. The beginning of the holiday of sour milk and at the same time it "nail" – Deploying Giant Buddha Tanks.

In Tibet to Khodoin - Holiday of sour milk

No one knows when this tradition was born, but today the spectacle is striking the imagination of the magnitude and internal energy. On the first day of Khodoin at about 7 o’clock in the morning, about 200 monks are on the shoulders from the monastery rolled into a roll of a huge canvas with a man-made Buddha’s Buddha and a colorful ornament. The slopes of the mountains are announced by the joyful exclamations of tens of thousands of people and the sounds of Tibetan Gorn. As the lame moves along the mountain paths, the tank elaborates as a white snake: people who gathered on the slopes are tightly throwing silk snow-white scarves – Hadaki, symbolizing peace, happiness, well-being.

Maitreya – Buddha of the Future. Buddhists believe that he is in the heavens of the stew – in the garden of joy in anticipation, when there will be time for salvation on earth. However, wait for this for a very long time. According to Buddhist Scriptures, the advent of the Maitrey Buddha should be established certain conditions, among which – the cessation of wars, diseases and hunger, an increase in the life expectancy of people to 8 thousand years and the formation of a society of love and tolerance under the supervision of the Fair Buddhist ruler. One of the prophecies states that the appearance of the Maitrey Buddha on Earth upon the occurrence of such favorable conditions will occur in 5 billion 690 million years. And yet sooner or later he will appear, will reach full enlightenment and start teaching people with pure dharma – the universal law of being.

The procession of Lam with the tank on the shoulders slowly approached a rectangular dysmot measuring about 60 to 40 meters, folded from metal rods and boards. All this design stretches upside down the mountain slope, raising the meter above the surface. Dozens of monks and volunteers enthusiasts, tied to the upper edge of the canvas, began to retire to the design, turning the tank. This operation went about half an hour. Finally, the canvas stretched on the platform, which caused real bailing the pilgrims. From the reproductors, Lam spells were louder, and believers in prayer began to fall NIC. Many tried to get closer to the tank to touch the shrine or at least vote and quit Hadak on her and thus spiritually join the coming "Golden Age".

All this action lasted about three hours. Then the monks turned the tank and took her back to the monastery – until next year. Enlightened, people went on the way back, which was harder and more dangerous to climb. We moved together with all. There and here melted rescuers in orange overalls. Armed with batons, employees of public safety management barely held back the crowds of pilgrims, but, to their honor, they did it delicately, without rudeness, and everything cost without accidents, as usual, it happens with such a propellation of the people.

Involuntarily, you begin to make sure that peacefulness and neutrality inherent in the Tibetans are rooted in their religious feelings and traditions. Yes that there are Tibetans – even we, the Russians, felt peace and some kind of extension from everyday life, usually overwhelming us. A little more, and we were already rushing on the bus to a hotel with a saving oxygen in each room.

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