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Weisang, Tibetan Households' Custom

Weisang is a Tibetan household's custom of burning offerings to make cloudy smog, hence this kind of praying is also called smoke offering. “Wei” means simmer in Chinese. 'Sang' is a Tibetan 'ritual fireworks'. There is a variety in selection of material for Weisang, like branches pine and cypress, leaves of herbs such as Artemisia argyi and heath. It is said that the fragrance in the smoke produced during burning the pine trees and cypresses, can not only bathe unlucky and dirty things of ordinary people, but also aromatize the palace of mountain god who will be pleased after smelling the aroma. Therefore, Tibetan people pray for good fortune, good harvest, peace and prosperity by this way.

Weisang Tibet customsTibetans are burning mulberry branches in front of Jokhang Temple.

Weisang is an ancient and widespread Tibetan customs. In addition to selection of cypress trees, it is also used along with wormwood and other herbs and heather leaves. There is a certain choice and a fixed ritual of Weisang ceremony: first cypress trees and herbs piled up in the hills or the river of mine on the ground, put the middle of roasted barley flour or grain, and then sprinkle a few drops of water lit by Sishen. Tibetan Weisang ceremony held on many occasions, such as the bumper harvest, attack enemies, beat the opposition, peace and prosperity, weddings and funerals, road safety, illnesses and sickness and so on.

According to the legend, Weisang came from the ancient tribe custom of welcoming brave fighters returning in triumph. In suburb, in order to clean out the dirt and dust on the fighters, people burned herbs and a pile of cypress branches, which will be dipped in water and then sprinkled to the brave fighters. By this way, the ancestors of plateau sacrificed gods, prayed for peace and victory, and gradually took this way as the main way to communicate with gods. Commonly, in ordinary days, Tibetans have the habit of Wei-Song, for example, every morning, in front of the gate, families burn some cedar branches matched with herbs to eliminate the evil and purify the air.

Weisang ceremonyTibetan Weisang ceremony is also held in the suburb.

When there is a woman in the postpartum period, people will burn a heap of yak dung in front of gate to warn off the passers. Then people will pile up a scree pile, if a boy was born, people would pile up more chalk screes; if a girl was born, people would use other kind of screes and Wei-Song nearby the scree pile to get rid of the filthy atmosphere produced by procreation.

In the new year of Tibetan, coming back from the ceremony of expelling the evils, before entering home, people have to burn the mulberry branches to exclude the evils thoroughly.

If you go to visit temple to see who is practicing Buddhism solitarily when you are travelling in Tibet, you have to use the prepared mulberry branches in front of the temple gate to bathe, lest polluting the pure environment.

Master Catherine Jigme

About the Author - Master Catherine Jigme

With exceptional passion and outstanding leadership, Mrs. Catherine has dedicated herself to Tibet inbound tourism and China tour for 15 years. As one of the handful females who see great potential of Chinese inbound tourism, Catherine has made great contribution to promoting Tibet tourism and enhancing the employment of Tibetans and prosperity of local Tibetan community.

Over the years, she travelled overseas with Tibet Tourism Bureau many times to promote Tibet tourism. Currently, Catherine works as the marketing director of Tibet Vista, an opinion leader behind the whole team of Tibet Vista.

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