Annual Buddhist services held in Gannan

Xinhua, March 6, 2009

BEIJING, China -- Thousands of local pilgrims gathered in Labuleng Temple, in Gannan Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Gansu province from Tuesday to Thursday to attend annual Buddhist services.

Tibetans arrived at the temple and spun Buddhist prayer wheels to pray for safety and happiness.

The services officially began at Tuesday afternoon. Buddhist monks stood on a bridge, and threw food sacrifices into the river, and the pilgrims cast stones also into that river to pray for happiness.

Another service was held on Wednesday morning. Buddhist monks recited Sutras and carried Buddhist musical instruments around Labuleng Temple. They were followed people dressed in “sacred lion” and “sacred tigers”costumes. The pilgrims along the roads put their palms together, hoping for good luck and happiness.

Labuleng Temple was built in 1709, and is the highest ranking Tibetan Buddhism institution in northwest China.