March 9 – Chogna Choeba in Tibet

Posted on March 9, 2014

One thing I have never seen before is a lantern-lit parade of giant sculptures created from colored butter!

The Buddhist monks who carve the butter decorations, which can be 15 feet tall but which are covered with details such as flowers, trees, and birds, later burn them or dismantle them and throw them into rivers. This is symbolic of the impermanence of life.

I can't believe it IS butter!

Other names for this festival are Chotrul Duchen and the Butter Lamp Festival. Yet another name is Ten Million Multiplier Day, because it is said that the effects of both positive and negative actions are multiplied 10 million times today! better make those actions positive!

Butter lamps are used every day...

Traditionally, Tibetan Buddhist monks light lamps made from clarified yak butter every morning (although now they often use lamps made with vegetable oil). At funerals, a great many butter lamps are lit. The lamps are said to help focus the mind as the monks meditate, and they banish darkness both literally and figuratively.

  • Try your own hand at butter sculpting!

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