Monlam Festival
This is a purely religious festival and it has a history of nearly 600 years. It was initiated in 1409 in Lhasa by Tsongapa, the founder of the Gelugpa sect, for commemorating the Buddha Sakyamuni. Since then it has been held between the 4th day and the 25th day of the first Tibetan mnth every year, during which monks from different places are gathered in the Jokhang Monastery to recite Buddhist sutras, lecture on Buddhism and debate Buddhist doctrines. In the meantime, monks pursuing Geshi ( the highest scholastic degree of the Tibetan monk-hood),eloquently answer loads of question raised by the examiners. The pious Buddhist followers are crowded on the platform on the second floor of the monastery, lighting butter lamps and occasionally throwing money wrapped by a ceremonial scarf to the chanting lamas.

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