Prayer flags are cloths printed with Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, deities, and symbols. A practitioner will hang her (or his) flags on a high place, putting them up in the wind and gathering the blessing of both being near the holy ground of the monastery (if the flags are hung near one) and the place god for the area. The practitioner believes that the wind carries these prayers on her behalf to the Buddha, who counts it as merit she has earned.
Traditionally, prayer flags were only made in 5 colors which represented the 5 elements: white (air), blue (water), yellow (metal/gold), green (earth), and red (fire). Today, commercialization has created prayers flags of other colors.
BuddhismChinaKumbum MonasteryTa'ersiXiningprayer flags0012KumbumMonastery120929