Braving freezing temperatures of around minus 40 degrees, Russian Buddhists kick off Lunar New Year celebration with prayers and wishes in the Siberian region of Buryatia near the Mongolian border. While the majority of Russia’s population identifies as Orthodox Christian, there are some 900,000 Buddhists living in the border region, as well as further west in the region of Kalmykia on the Caspian Sea. Buddhists, like other religious groups, suffered persecution from the Soviet authorities, but the post-Soviet years have seen a revival, with teachers of Tibetan Buddhism from other countries playing a major role.
Published October 16 2016
Follow the monks’ white path through the unending plains of Kalmyki
Kalmykia is a steppe region in the south of European Russia and the only European Buddhist republic. An international Buddhist festival is going to take place in a temple in the Kalmykia’s capital, Elista. Monks are preparing a sand mandala. It is a palace that may serve a temporary abode for an enlightened deity. Colored marble sand is applied to the canvas through a cone-shaped tube. Follow the monks’ white path on RTDoc.
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