Tibetans in Lhasa embrace holy month of Saga Dawa
LHASA, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Tibetans on Friday embraced the first day of the fourth month in the Tibetan calendar, which marks the beginning of the holy month of Saga Dawa, the anniversary of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death.
Tibetans believe religious activities including turning prayer wheels, giving offerings, freeing captive animals, making blessings and showing mercy in this month will bring them more merit than on ordinary days.
On Friday morning, Sodron was turning prayer wheels and walking with her dog following along in downtown Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
"I came across a homeless dog this time last year and took it home," Sodron said. "It is a result of my accumulation of merit."
"I believe in the equality of all lives. When turning the prayer wheel, I always pray for world peace," she said.
In the month, Tibetans have a custom of freeing captive animals. But Sodron doesn't think it is a good idea to transport fish from other provinces and release them into the river in Lhasa.
"These fish can hardly survive and the release will also affect the lives of the local fish," she said.
"Form is not so important. Doing good deeds is enough," Sodron said.
The city government has set up 19 service centers along the route for the convenience of people coming to turn prayer wheels.
Palbar, a staff member at the service center, said he and his colleagues started working at 7 a.m. to prepare tea and hot water for people coming to turn prayer wheels.
Volunteers helped a worshipper who felt sick when prostrating himself in prayer and provided a seat for him at the service center, according to Palbar.
Several ambulances were also ready to help worshippers if necessary.
A tourist, surnamed Li, from central China's Hubei Province, said she has received a lot of help from Tibetans in Lhasa over the past two days.
"I can feel their inner peace and happiness," Li said.