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Presenting Hada in Tibetan Culture

August,15 2018 BY Chloe Xin 0 COMMENTS

Presenting Hada in Tibetan Culture

What is Hada

Hada or Khata is a long narrow scarf made of raw silk fabrics, being sloppy and loose, looking like a net. Of course, there are also some hadas made of silk. The top grade ones are often knitted with patterns signifying good luck and happiness like lotus flower, Aquarius, canopy and sea snail. The hada is of various lengths, the longer one can be 10 or 20 meters, while the shorters are 1 or 1.5 meters. The Tibetan people think that the white hada embodies purity and good fortune, so most of the hada are in white. Some are colorful, with the color of blue, white, yellow, green and red. The blue symbolizes the sky, white symbolizes the cloud, green symbolizes the river water, red symbolizes the dharma protector and yellow symbolizes the ground. The colorful hada is to be presented to the Bodhisattva or the close relative to make the colorful arrow, being precious a lot. According to the Buddhism religious doctrine, the colorful hada is the costume of the Bodhisattva, so it only can be used in some special circumstances.

Purpose of Presenting Hada

Presenting hada is the most common etiquette among the Tibetan people to show purity, honesty, sincerity and respect to others. In Tibet, at the funeral and wedding ceremony, receiving or sending someone, visiting elders and betters, going to the Buddha Statues, you may feel the habit of presenting hada at all the circumstances above. It is said that when the Tibetan people go to the temple, they would present a hada first and then make their pilgrimage to the Buddha Statue or visit the halls. When they decide to leave the temple, they also leave a hada there, suggesting that though they have left there, their hearts are still in the temple.

Way of Presenting Hada

The action of presenting hada varies from person to person. Generally, people hold the hada in both hands high, being parallel with the shoulders. Then they extend forward and bow to present it to others. When the hada is parallel with the top of the head, it shows the most sincere respect and best wishes. The one who receives the hada also should receive it with both hands respectfully. When presenting hada to the elders, you should hold your hands above the head and your body should forerake as well, holding the hada to the sits or feet. When presenting hada to the people of the same generation or subordinates, you may tie it on the neck of them. It is quite common to present hada in Tibet. Sometimes when people write letters, they even enclose a small hada inside the envelope to show their wishes and greetings. One thing interesting is that, when people go out, they will bring several hada with them, in case they may come across the long parting friends and relatives. In different circumstances, the meaning hada transmits is different. When in festivals, it shows congratulations on happiness. When in a wedding ceremony, it is to wish the new couple reach old age together. When presenting hada to the guests, it implies the sincere pray to God for the blessing and protection. When presenting hada in the funeral ceremony, it suggests the grieving over the dead and comfort for the families of the deceased.

The Origin of Presenting Hada

As for the origin of hada, there is no accordant saying. One of the saying is that, when Zhangqian of Han Dynasty was sent on a diplomatic mission to the Western Regions, he passed by Tibet and presented silks to the leader of the local tribe. At that time, silks were ceremonial offerings, symbolizing the pure friendship. In this way, the tribes thought it was etiquette of showing friendliness and wishes, besides, it was passed on from the central plains, so they continued to use it till now. Another saying is that, the ancient holiness of Tibet, vpags-pa, brought it back, after visiting Kublai Khan. And there were the pattern of the Great Wall and the typeface of being as lucky as one wishes. Later on, people have some religious explanation on the origin of hada, they said that hada was the streamer of the fairy maiden. The white color suggests that Hada is holy and pure supreme.

The hada is of various lengths, the longer one can be 10 or 20 meters, while the shorters are 1 or 1.5 meters. The Tibetan people think that the white hada embodies purity and good fortune, so most of the hada are in white. Some are colorful, with the color of blue, white, yellow, green and red. The blue symbolizes the sky, white symbolizes the cloud, green symbolizes the river water, red symbolizes the dharma protector and yellow symbolizes the ground. The colorful hada is to be presented to the Bodhisattva or the close relative to make the colorful arrow, being precious a lot. According to the Buddhism religious doctrine, the colorful hada is the costume of the Bodhisattva, so it only can be used in some special circumstances.

Purpose of Presenting Hada

Presenting hada is the most common etiquette among the Tibetan people to show purity, honesty, sincerity and respect to others. In Tibet, at the funeral and wedding ceremony, receiving or sending someone, visiting elders and betters, going to the Buddha Statues, you may feel the habit of presenting hada at all the circumstances above. It is said that when the Tibetan people go to the temple, they would present a hada first and then make their pilgrimage to the Buddha Statue or visit the halls. When they decide to leave the temple, they also leave a hada there, suggesting that though they have left there, their hearts are still in the temple.

Way of Presenting Hada

The action of presenting hada varies from person to person. Generally, people hold the hada in both hands high, being parallel with the shoulders. Then they extend forward and bow to present it to others. When the hada is parallel with the top of the head, it shows the most sincere respect and best wishes. The one who receives the hada also should receive it with both hands respectfully. When presenting hada to the elders, you should hold your hands above the head and your body should forerake as well, holding the hada to the sits or feet. When presenting hada to the people of the same generation or subordinates, you may tie it on the neck of them. It is quite common to present hada in Tibet. Sometimes when people write letters, they even enclose a small hada inside the envelope to show their wishes and greetings. One thing interesting is that, when people go out, they will bring several hada with them, in case they may come across the long parting friends and relatives. In different circumstances, the meaning hada transmits is different. When in festivals, it shows congratulations on happiness. When in a wedding ceremony, it is to wish the new couple reach old age together. When presenting hada to the guests, it implies the sincere pray to God for the blessing and protection. When presenting hada in the funeral ceremony, it suggests the grieving over the dead and comfort for the families of the deceased.

The Origin of Presenting Hada

As for the origin of hada, there is no accordant saying. One of the saying is that, when Zhangqian of Han Dynasty was sent on a diplomatic mission to the Western Regions, he passed by Tibet and presented silks to the leader of the local tribe. At that time, silks were ceremonial offerings, symbolizing the pure friendship. In this way, the tribes thought it was etiquette of showing friendliness and wishes, besides, it was passed on from the central plains, so they continued to use it till now. Another saying is that, the ancient holiness of Tibet, vpags-pa, brought it back, after visiting Kublai Khan. And there were the pattern of the Great Wall and the typeface of being as lucky as one wishes. Later on, people have some religious explanation on the origin of hada, they said that hada was the streamer of the fairy maiden. The white color suggests that Hada is holy and pure supreme.

Chloe Xin

About the Author - Chloe Xin

My Name is Chloe, Senior Trip Advisor for Tibet trip with 5 years working experince in Tibet tourism. Loving Tibet, loving all beautiful thing around.A great funs of nature, with piercing eyes to find beauty in both Nature and People. Patient, Warm Hearted , Considerate, Easy- going , Knowledgeable and always ready to offer help to some one in need.

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