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Winter holidays in Tibet worth the trip

By Sun Ye ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-03-13 09:04:59

The 1,300 year-old palace, painted annually with honey, milk and lime, allows no more than 3,000 people a day during peak season. But during the Losar, the palace, linked

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by the red religious palace and the white secular part housing the gold stupas of eight Dalai Lamas, gets fewer than 1,000 visitors a day.

One gets to linger around the palace's ceiling-high cases of valuable holy scriptures, listen to a whole chapter of hummed hymns and closely study the palace's most famous room where one of its walls was built in the 7th century, and another was finished 1,000 years later. The palace is so empty and spacious that you feel like you have stepped into amaze.

The other experience unique to Losar is, on the contrary, very crowded, spiritual and warming.

That would take place at the Jokhang Temple after nightfall. It's the time when the temple, known as the center of Tibetan Buddhism, welcomes worshippers from all over the region. For followers, visiting and praying under the life sized Sakyamuni statue is the first thing they must do in the New Year.

It's heartening to witness the unending line of pious men and women bow down and murmur Om mani pa dme hum, the six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra. They believe Losar to be a divine day for transmitting godliness and here are their sincere New Year wishes - for favorable weather and world peace.

So when the New Year really arrives, even with crackling fireworks and raucous laughter, the prevalent sense is this: serenity and composure.

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