Panchen Lama performs head-touching ritual in Lhasa
LHASA, July 22 (Xinhua) -- The 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu performed Sunday a head-touching ritual to bless the Buddhists in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
The ritual started at about 10:10 a.m. at the Panchen Lama's Lhasa residence. Long lines of Buddhists holding hada, a long, scarf-like white silk, waited orderly to receive his blessings.
During the ritual that ran nearly three hours, the Panchen Lama, always with a smile on his face, gave blessings to more than 5,100 Buddhists. He also prayed for swift recovery for patients, and named new-borns.
Head touching is a ceremony carried out by a living Buddha to bless believers who consider that it will help them avoid disasters.
"I am very happy to receive blessings from the living Buddha for two years in a row," said 45-year-old Lhasa resident Migmar Tsering.
The Panchen Lama arrived in Lhasa on Tuesday for Buddhist and social activities. On Thursday, he visited Jokhang Temple, the most revered monastery in Lhasa.
The Panchen Lama serves as vice president of the Buddhist Association of China and is a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.