Hanging prayer flags is a sacred activity in which Tibetan Buddhists chant and perform actions as they hang prayer flags to maximise positive energy and minimise the influence of negative energy so prayers carry with power on the wind. Tibetan Buddhists look to Tibetan astrology and to the elements to guide decisions around hanging prayer flags. Tibetan Buddhists consider hanging a prayer flag as beginning an activity, which they must perform on days when a Baden -- demon -- is not present.
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Tibetan Prayer Flags
Tibetan Buddhists often surround their properties with prayer flags made of cotton, dyed in the five primary colours and imprinted with auspicious images, such as the snow lion and the tiger. Prayer flags hang vertically or horizontally. According to the Tibetan website, Khandro, vertical Tibetan prayer flags, dar-cho and dar-chen, hang on roofs or outside Buddhist temple gates. Horizontal prayer flags, dar-ding, are called "windhorse." Tibetan Buddhists inscribe prayer flags with mantras and prayers and raise them to commemorate important occasions. The wind carries prayers for Buddhists to accomplish goals to the deities.
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Different activities succeed on different days, which are determined according to how the elements combine and according to Tibetan astrology. According to FPMT, the most auspicious days are earth-earth combinations. Earth-earth days are favourable for wish-fulfilment and success in endeavours. Other favourable days include, but are not limited to, water-water and earth-water, which are auspicious for weddings and other joyful events.
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Lord Buddha Auspicious Dates
Tibetan Buddhists believe that they multiply the positive karmic results by 100 million of hanging prayer flags on auspicious days in specific months related to Lord Buddha. According to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition FPMT, hanging prayer flags on months one, four, six and nine, months commemorating the Buddha's miracles, his conception, birth and teachings brings favourable karma. Hang prayer flags on days 1 to 15 in the first month of the Tibetan calendar, days 7 and 15 in the fourth month and days 15 in the sixth and ninth months.
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Lunar and Solar Days
Like all calendars, the Tibetan calendar reflects lunar and solar events. Tibetan Buddhists believe that full moon and new moon days offer auspicious opportunities to hang prayer flags, according to FPMT. Eclipses are particularly favourable events during which Tibetans hang prayer flags. Karma multiplies by 100 million during a solar eclipse and by 7 million on a lunar eclipse.