Image of the week: Tibetan prayer flags

Gently fluttering in the wind; these prayer flags are a modest symbol of an elaborate history. Dating back thousands of years, pre-Buddhist Tibet’s Shamanistic Bonpo priest used boldly coloured cloth flags in healing ceremonies.

Each colour represented a primary element – earth, water, fire, air and space. It’s believed in Eastern medicine that harmony and health are attained when these five elements are in perfect balance. When Buddhism became a way of life in Tibet, from around the first millennium AD, the flags were adopted to ward off the spirits that cause disease and natural disasters. The prayers adorned on the flags are believed to help maintain the balance of the elements and keep those evil spirits at bay.

Obviously, this only touches on the history of the flags and the noble religions that conceived them. Visit the Himalayas, Tibet and Nepal with Peregrine and learn the full story.

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