Prayer flag

Prayer flags and prayer flags (Tib.: rlung rta; German: Wind Horse) are today in Buddhism usual flag in mostly small rectangular shape. You will be exposed by the faithful until full weathering the wind, so that it is satisfied that the prayers be happened the sky.


These flags are in the territory of the Tibetan cultural area, located in the Himalayas, including the entire Tibetan plateau and partly also in the neighboring regions, in every mountain pass and on every summit. You usually have to order from left to right or star-shaped hanging flags from the inside to the outside, the colors blue, white, red, green, and yellow. The number five plays a central role in Tibetan Buddhism and represents the four cardinal directions and the center (see stupa ). The color blue stands for the sky, white for the clouds and the purity, red for the element of fire, green for the water element, and yellow for the earth element.

Often the prayer flags are printed by traditional woodblock printing with symbols and / or prayers and mantras. Mantra prints often include the mani stones as with the traditional Tibetan mantra "Om mani padme hum". This is to be carried out for the happiness of all sentient beings with the wind in the world. In support of this concern is on many prayer flags in the middle of the mantra imprints the mythological figure of the Tibetan wind horse rlung - rta shown, that the prayers are to be particularly effective carried into the sky by the fluttering of the provided with the flying in the wind horse flag.

Suspension places

Prayer flags are particularly hung up on mountaintops, on mountain passes or stupas. Many Buddhists hang prayer flags also to their house. In some mountain places of Nepal such as large areas of solid prayer flags, flags are hung on poles and sometimes changed on festival days.

Prayer flags on the Qiliangebirge, China

Printed Tibetan prayer flags

Prayer flags at Guishan Temple in Shangri- La County, Yunnan (China )

Prayer flags in Ladakh

Tibetan prayer flags in Songpan

Kagyu Samye Ling prayer flags in the Monastery and Tibetan Centre, Eskdalemuir (Scotland )