Tuesday. People of all ethnic groups in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, spent the last day of the Tibetan New Year in an atmosphere of joy and serenity.
A Tibetan pilgrim turns the pray wheels at the Sera Monastery during the Grand Summons Ceremony in the suburbs of Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, on March 10, 2009. [Xinhua photo]
In the morning, Buddhism believers, holding Buddha beads or prayer wheels, hurried on their way to the Potala Palace.
Pengqiong, a 60-year-old woman, joined the pilgrims as usual with wheels turning in her hand. When arriving in front of the Palace, she placed her wheels on her bag and kneeled down to kowtow devoutly.
Various kinds of stores lining the Barkhor Street near the Jokhang Temple in city center shined under the morning sun. Tsomo, a Tibetan business woman of Tibetan accouterments, counted out her inventories, making preparation to receive shoppers the next day. "It's time now to do business to support my family after the Tibetan Losar," she said.
A woman arranges her goods in the famous market street, Pogor near the Jokhang Temple in central Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, March 10, 2009. [Xinhua photo]
Duosenge Road is also a bustling street just like the Barkhor Street. Salespersons of many stores were found busy cleaning store windows and tidying up goods. Some stores were under renovation. All would contribute to efforts to display their best and draw the most customers.
The same day, the Grand Summons Ceremony was held at all major monasteries. On the square outside of the Coqen Hall of the Sera Monastery, two were attacked with religious questions by their fellow monks. Compared with the most sitting and observing silently on the spot, there were four young "examiners" seemed extremely active and sharp, claping their hands and vying with one another to raise all kinds of questions.
"It's such a pity that I can not understand their debate," said Guo Haoran, a tourist from Guangdong Province, who watched attentively the debate on the Tibetan Buddhism sutra. "A friendly monk invited me to a sweet tea house when I visited the Norbulingka Summer Palace yesterday, and we chatted from 2 PM to around 9 PM," he added.
Tibetan lamas debate about the sutra of Tibetan Buddhism at the Sera Monastery during the Grand Summons Ceremony in the suburbs of Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, on March 10, 2009. [Xinhua photo]
Pengqiong, an obviously old woman, had already circled the Potala Palace three circles by noon. In the afternoon, she went to a sweet tea house behind the Palace together with some of her age, drinking tea and chatting. They filled with their laughter the sweet tea house.
The Muru District in the old town of Lhasa has 1,492 permanent residents, with 99 percent of them Tibetans, old ones in particular.
"Today is the last day of the Tibetan New Year, after which people will resume normal life with businessmen opening stores, old people shopping for foods, the employed going to or returning from work, and tea houses crowded with drinkers," said Li Fengbin, Party branch secretary of Muru District neighborhood committee.
A Tibetan woman kowtows and prays in front of the Jokhang Temple in central Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, March 10, 2009. [Xinhua photo]
Around 5PM in the Tibet University, students walked out from the classrooms of the Art School, though some others still kept playing pianos in the music room. On the sports ground, students could been seen running, walking, or playing balls.
Since the beginning of the new semester, the university had carried on a large load of teaching and research work, according to Cidan Phuntsok, the vice president.
As the sun set, old Luobu moved slowly on the Linkuo path (a prayer circumanbulation around the old town of Lhasa), turning his prayer wheels again. The holy city and its surrounding was melted in crimson, shining and glimmering.
(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2009)