Chinese monastery holds butter sculpture exhibition

created: 2013-03-01

Xinhua, February 28, 2013

Taer Monastery, a prominent Buddhist monastery in northwestern part of China's Qinghai Province, held a butter sculpture exhibition on Sunday in celebration of the Lantern Festival.

Exhibitions of butter sculptures of Buddha, Buddhist legend and Tibetan history are held annually in reverence to Buddha and for good luck, said Kelsang Lhundrup, deputy director of the Taer Monastery administrative committee office.

Gonpo, a senior sculptor at the monastery, said more than 40 monks worked for about three months in freezing temperatures to complete all the sculptures, which weigh over 800 kilograms.

"The auspicious yak butter sculptures will bring our family good luck in the new year," said Ma Zongchong, a resident of Handong Township, Huangzhong County, located in the provincial capital Xining.

Over 100,000 Buddhists and visitors from home and abroad have attended the exhibition to make their wishes for the new year.

In 2006, the State Council listed butter sculpture as a national intangible cultural heritage. The Taer Monastery was constructed in 1379 in memory of Tzongkaba (1357-1419), the founder of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Butter sculpture, barbola and mural painting, all of which are unique Tibetan art forms, are the three artistic treasures of the Taer Monastery.

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