Tibetan prayer flags are flown on Tibetan temples, on roof tops of houses, above
rapids in mountain stream, bridges, monasteries, high mountain passes and even
in taxis. If you have followed the Everest expeditions you will have seen pictures
of the flags flying at base camp. The flags are printed from wooden blocks on
colored cotton. They are flown in multiple sets of five colors: Blue for sky, White
for cloud, Red for fire, Green for water and Yellow for earth. A typical prayer
flag has at its central image a horse bearing three flaming jewels on its back.
This horse, known as a 'wind-horse' lends the flags their Tibetan name, 'lung-ta'.
The three jewels symbolize the Buddha, the Buddhist teachings and the Buddhist
community. These together make up the equivalent of the Tibetan Trinity.
Around the horse are 20-odd mantras - powerful ritual utterances - each
dedicated to a particular deity. These include the Tibetan mantra chants such as
"Om Mani Pad me" and "Om Men Rimoshi-Ne." The names of four powerful
animals, dragon, garuda, tiger and snow-lion, are written in each of the four
The idea is that as the wind passes over the surface of the flag, the air becomes
purified, sanctified and sweetened by the mantras. This is beneficial for all
beings in the neighborhood. In addition to the mantras are prayers for long life
and good fortune of the person who erects the flags.
Tibetan Prayer flags are purposely not protected from fading. In fact for
Tibetans the replacement and renewal of the flags is an important part of their
ritual significance and ceremonial use. The flags deteriorate in the elements and
are usually renewed each Tibetan New Year. Wandering pilgrims carry strings
of flags with them to adorn the sacred sites that they visit. Our Tibetan Prayer
Flags are made in Nepal and since they are hand made, the size varies slightly.
They come in two styles, vertical and horizontal. The horizontal flags come in
three sizes, small, medium, and large.
Vertical Prayer Flag
Approximately 6 feet
tall with one flag of
each color. Great for
poles or corners of
Each set comes with 5
sets of the 5 colors
Small - each flag is 6.5
by 6.5 inches. 14 foot
Medium - each flag is
10.5 by 10.5 inches. 21
foot string. $6.00