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‘Unveiling the Buddha’ at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Photos from a trip to Labrang Monastery in Xiahe, Gansu Province—grassland hiking, Tibetan culture, and the annual unveiling of the huge Buddha tapestry at Labrang Monastery.

Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02
A procession of monks amidst a crowd, in Xiahe, Gansu Province.
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Our trip to Xiahe was timed to coincide with the once-a-year sight of one of Labrang Monastery’s huge thangka tapestries. While in the area we explored temples and towns, mingled with pilgrims as we watched ceremonies and performances, and hiked in the grasslands near Xiahe.

Photos below!

In the town, we did a clockwise kora following the monks and pilgrims - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

In the town, we did a clockwise kora following the monks and pilgrims.

A thangka in the Grand Meeting Hall of Labrang Monastery - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

A thangka in the Grand Meeting Hall of Labrang Monastery.

The prayer wheel corridor outside the monastery - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

The prayer wheel corridor outside the monastery.

A crowd of pilgrims heading for the unveiling of the Buddha tapestry - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

A crowd of pilgrims for the unveiling of the Buddha tapestry.

The monks with the special hats are carrying the <i>thangka</i> tapestry to be unveiled - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

The monks with the special hats are carrying the thangka tapestry to be unveiled.

Unveiled on the hill, accompanied by pomp and ceremony. This year they unveiled the Shakayamuni thangka - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Unveiled on the hill, accompanied by pomp and ceremony. This year they showed the Shakayamuni thangka.

We were viewing from the other side of the river - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

We were viewing from the other side of the river.

Pilgrims in ceremonial clothing - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Pilgrims in ceremonial clothing.

A group shot with our guide at Deerlong Monastery - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

A group shot with our guide at Deerlong Monastery.

Outside Deerlong Monastery - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Outside Deerlong Monastery.

Clear skies and bright light - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Clear skies and bright light.

Cat and Dominque - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Cat and Dominque.

Taking a break outside the monastery - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Taking a break outside the monastery.

The Labrang Monastery library - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

The Labrang Monastery library.

Coming out of a temple after praying - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Coming out of a temple after praying.

Even the kids were dressed up - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Even the kids were dressed up.

The Red Hats were in charge of security - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

The Red Hats were in charge of security.

A tender moment - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

A tender moment.

Young monks on the way to their studies - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Young monks on the way to their studies.

On the balcony at the temple - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

On the balcony at the temple.

In front of the temple - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

In front of the temple.

A photo with some new friends - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

A photo with some new friends.

One of the pilgrims in the crowds - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

One of the pilgrims in the crowds.

On the way to the ceremony - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

A procession of monks.

On the way to the ceremony - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

They're all on the way to a prayer ceremony.

These monks are on the way to a Cham dance performance - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

These monks are on the way to a Cham dance performance.

Getting ready for the Cham dance - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Getting ready for the Cham dance.

Some little monks at White Cliff monastery - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Some little monks at White Cliff monastery.

Part of a prayer ceremony at White Cliff monastery - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Part of a prayer ceremony at White Cliff monastery.

We tasted some Tibetan food - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

We tasted some Tibetan food.

Hiking in the Sangke Grassland - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Hiking in the Sangke Grassland.

Hiking and exploring the grasslands - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Hiking and exploring the grasslands.

After visiting Xiahe we headed on to hike a local danxia landform - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

After visiting Xiahe we headed on to hike a local danxia landform.

Up in the hills - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

Up in the hills.

On the way back from the hike - Unveiling the Buddha at Labrang Monastery, 2018/02

On the way back from the hike.