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Prayer Flags & Their Meaning

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What are Prayer Flags?

Prayer flags are colorful pieces of cloth with prayers written or printed on them. These prayer flags are commonly seen displayed throughout many Indian or Asian communities. Prayer flags are generally strung together to create a banner that can be displayed over a wide area. These prayer flag banners are generally displayed outside as a means of blessing the area surrounding where the prayer flags have been displayed. Many different types of prayers are written or printed on these prayer flags.

The History behind Prayer Flags

The idea of prayer flags was introduced as early as 800 BCE and the introduction of prayer flags can be traced back as early as 1040 BCE! The practice of displaying prayer flags is clearly a storied tradition that has been carried out throughout the years. These prayer flags can come in different shapes and colors, generally representing different things. The flags come in sets of 5 representing the five Buddhist elements:blue (sky/space), white (air/wind), green (water), yellow (earth) and red (fire). The colors of the prayer flags are thought to create a sense of balance. The common belief is that when the wind blows, it will carry the prayers on the prayer flags to bless the surrounding areas. This is why many prayer flag banners are seen displayed in outdoor settings such as in the mountainous regions, as the wind will carry the prayers and bless an entire area or community.

Prayer Flags Today

Many prayer flags can still be seen on display out in Indian and Asian communities. The use of prayer flags has even spread into the western world. Many people have taken to displaying prayer flags around their home or in their community. The bright and colorful nature of the prayer flags will not only bring you a sense of peace and happiness, but make a great discussion piece for your home.