Monlam (Prayer Festival)

Usually February; 4th-25th days of first Tibetan lunar month
The greatest festival in Tibet follows the Tibetan New Year ( Losar) celebrations, and commemorates the miraculous powers of Buddha. The two-week festival was started in the 14th century by Tsongkhapa, the great reformist monk, to ensure that the new year would be successful and prosperous. It is a time to attend examinations of and make offerings to monks, to light butter lamps, and above all to socialize, get the latest news, and watch sports events such as wrestling, archery, and horse racing. On the 15th day celebrants throng to Lhasa's famous Jokhang temple, where monks have created enormous butter sculptures. ( See Butter Sculpture Festival.) A procession around the Barkor, the old city of Lhasa, carries a statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha.
When the Chinese denounced religious observances in 1959, the festival died. It was revived again in 1986, and has been observed since, although not with the grandeur of earlier days.
Office of Tibet
Tibet House, 1 Culworth St.
London, NW8 7AF United Kingdom
44-20-7722-5378; fax: 44-20-7722-0362
BkHolWrld-1986, Mar 9
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 82
RelHolCal-2004, p. 217
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15 ( ANI ): Hundreds of Buddhist devotees thronged the famed Mahabodhi Temple here on Tuesday to observe the Kagyu Monlam Festival, in which devotees offer alms to monks in the hope of attaining salvation.
Several hundred monks marched from the monastery after officials banned them from praying, calling to be allowed to celebrate the Monlam prayer festival and for authorities to release all Tibetan prisoners," the group said.
Many of the monks who were detained were participating in a masked dance performance, so they couldn't perform the dance, which is a major event in the Monlam festival,'' which was to conclude Feb.
The Great Prayer Festival, or Monlam Chenmo, traditionally closely associated with the Geshe exam process, has been banned each year since 1988.
Charles watched carefully as mandala maker Lobsang Monlam from a monastery in Mysore, southern India, demonstrated how the delicate creation is put together by feeding bits of sand on to a traced-out template through a funnel.
His Holiness will lead recitations of the prayer during all sessions at the Kagyu Monlam pilgrimage in Bodhgaya, the place where Buddha attained enlightenment, from 15th-21st December 2014.
Bodhgaya, Dec 17 (ANI): The nine-day long Buddhist religious ceremony of Kagyu Monlam is being held in the Buddhist holy shrine of Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya.
Celebrations of other major religious festivals such as Monlam Chenmo and the Drepung Shodon have been marked by a somewhat more open atmosphere and diminished security presence than in the past, but teachers and students at Tibet University were prohibited from actively celebrating the Saga Dawa festival in 2004.
12 (ANI): Buddhist devotees have gathered at the ancient Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar's Gaya District to celebrate the annual festival of Kagyu Monlam Chenmo that marked the 900th birth anniversary of the first Karmapa DE-sum Khyenpa.
The annual mantra recitation ceremony for World peace "Ladakh Monlam Chenmo" was organised by 'All Ladakh Gompa Association'.
Hundreds of Buddhists and followers of the Dalai Lama converged at the Kaal Chakra Maidan (Wheel of Time Ground) in Bodh Gaya, the place where Buddha attained enlightenment, as the five-day-long 'Geluk Monlam puja (prayers)' began.