Friday, October 29, 2010
Buddha’s Descent from Heaven to Earth
Tonight was a lovely and auspicious night! We met up with a Swiss family, whose father Olivier has also been volunteer teaching (PE) at our school. In our hungry search for a specific restaurant, we fortunately took the long way around, and passed by the great stupa. Much to our surprise, it had just been covered in strings of lights! Tonight is “Lhabab Duchen” the anniversary of Buddha’s descent from heaven to earth. Many thousands of butter lamps and candles are being lit all around the stupa, and the crowds of worshipers walking the kora were extra thick. Monasteries are open later than usual, with special prayers being recited… Our family was welcomed and waved inside by the monks to sit and listen to the chanting, praying, and rhythmic horns & drumming. After dinner we walked a few circuits around the stupa, enjoying the festive yet reverent ambience. The kids lit a few butter lamps, spun the massive prayer wheels, and gazed up at the warm glowing lights on the stupa. Even our guest house building was decorated with hundreds of candles while we were out at dinner. A warm and lovely welcome back home!