A busy spring in Lhasa


Believers make religious circumambulation around the Potala Palace. (Photo: China News Service/He Penglei)

(CNS) -- "Come and try our sweet homemade yogurt!" peddled Drolma, a girl from Thaktse, Lhasa. She said people would rather bask in the sun than stay home this time of the year, so there were plenty of customers.

Drolma has been serving yogurt for several days in front of Potala Palace. Sometimes, her yogurt sells out in half a day. "Then I go back and make some more. The transportation system is very convenient now!"

Meanwhile, more and more believers are getting on the circumambulation road around the Potala Palace. Yangdron, along with nearly 20 villagers from Lhundrup, Lhasa, arrived at Potala Palace early in the morning and started making religious circumambulations. "It's warmer now and old people in our village are all willing to make the religious circumambulation in Lhasa, because we will be busier once the spring ploughing starts."

Soon after the Tibetan New Year ends, believers start going to different temples in Tibet more frequently. Dakpo Monastery, an old temple of the Geluk school with a history of nearly 900 years in Maldrolgungkar, Lhasa, is visited by believers from all around Tibet every year, despite its remote location. Tsering Sangbu, the Dharma master in Dakpo Monastery said there will be a Tara sutra chanting ritual this month. "Monks normally pray in the temple and also provide chanting rituals in believers' homes."

Similarly, in Jokhang Temple, the most famous temple in Lhasa, believers are spinning their prayer wheels and chanting around Barkhor Street at a slow pace. Under the morning sunlight, the shops on Barkhor Street also start their new day's business.

Around noon, many teahouses in Barkhor Street are full of customers. One of the shop managers said that business is very good, so he plans renovate. There are many shops now under renovation in Lhasa.

Children are also busy with their studies. Most schools in Tibet start their new semester in March. Tashi, a senior in high school, has bought some English classics in a bookshop, because he is busy preparing for the college entrance examination this year. "I would like to study English at university," he said. "Then I will be able to translate Tibetan articles into English, so that the rest of the world will know more about Tibet."

The spring in Lhasa is full of hopes for the new year. All of these people and their activities make for a beautiful scene of a busy spring in Lhasa.

"The whole year's work depends on a good start in spring," as the saying goes, and people in Lhasa are getting busy with their work.