Prayer flags remind me of Nepal, Tibet, India and Bhutan. Places I’ve only seen in my dreams. They remind of me blue skies, snow-capped mountains and crisp cool air. Most of all, they remind me of serenity. There is this misconception that these flags carry prayers to the gods when the wind blows. In actuality, these flags carry prayers of wisdom, peace, harmony, and compassion to the all living and spiritual beings – people, plants, animals, water and air.
Prayer flags are colorful square or rectangular pieces of cloth that are usually hung along mountain ridges and high peaks. They are sacred and are never to be placed on the ground or to be used in clothing. They are either hung diagonally from the floor to the top of a temple or monastery or they are hung vertically along a pole. Prayer flags come in a set of five colors; each representing an elements. Blue for the sky. White for the air and wind. Red for fire. Green for water. Yellow for earth. They are hung in that order.
The best time to hang new prayer flags are in the mornings on a sunny and windy day. Hanging them in high places allows the winds to carry the prayer and blessing away. When the images fade from the exposure to the sun and wind, it symbolizes that the prayers have become a permanent part of the universe. New flags are hung every year to acknowledge that all beings are part of something bigger than the world we live in.