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The Buddhist Ceremony of the Labrang Monastery

The Tibetan Buddhism holds various rituals every year. Such religious rites are called Fahui (the Buddhist Ceremony), which gradually becomes the traditional custom of the local society.

The scales and contents of Buddhist ceremonies vary because of the differences among the Tibetan Buddhism regions. The Labrang Monastery, located in Gansu Province, is one of the most important centers of the Tibetan Buddhism. It holds 7 large-scale Buddhist ceremonies every year, including the most ceremonious Grand Prayer Ceremony in the first month of Tibetan calendar and the Dunbairiza Buddhism Ceremony on the seventh month. Most disciples come from Gansu Province, Qinghai Province, Sichuan Province, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and other places to take part in the two ceremonies, which become the grand annual festivals held by the monastery.

The Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies include: the Grand Prayer Ceremony, also called Maolanmu Ceremony, which consists of the Free Captive Animals Festival on the 8th of the first month, the Sunbathing Buddha Festival on the 13th of the first month, the Cham Dance on the 14th of the first month, the Butter Sculpture Display on the 15th of the first month and the Carrying Maitreya Around the Temple on the 16th of the first month. The 5th day of the second month is the day when grandmaster Jiamuyang I (the founder of the monastery) died, so the day is called as the Good Day Meeting. The 8th day of the second month is the Serichang. The Time-Wheel Vajra Prayer Ceremony is held on the 15th of the third month. The Niangnai Festival (also called as the April Meeting) is held in the fourth month. The 8th day of the seventh month is the Mila Dharma Persuasion Meeting, and the subsequent festivals are the Calamity Averting Meeting and the Butter Lamp Festival, etc.

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