Prayer flags are synonymous with Tibetan landscapes where devotees hang them to promote peace and compassion and to earn merit. Tibetans believe that on certain auspicious days, the lung ta (wind horse) will carry the blessings depicted on the flags to all sentient beings. Another common belief is that the winds will carry the prayers on the flags to the heavens.
Buddhists put out the flags for various reasons including protection from harm/negative energies, overcoming obstacles and illness and to mark certain days such as Losar/Tibetan new year (third day), weddings and funerals.
Traditionally, such prayer flags have been stamped by using woodblocks and fabric. The flags come in sets of five colours (red, blue, green, white and yellow), each representing the five elements.