The Tibetan holy month of Saga Dawa, which has been going on for over two weeks, is in full swing.
Friday marked the fifteenth day of the fourth month in the Tibetan calendar. According to Tibetan scriptures, Sakyamuni Buddha was born on this day. Saga Dawa is a month-long celebration of Sakyamuni's birth, enlightenment and death.
On Friday, thousands of people crowded temples in Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, for prayers. They did not leave until midnight.
At Jokhang Temple, thousands of people moved slowly in long lines. Devotees were separated into different groups.
"The inner circle is for people who put themselves onto the ground for prayer, the outer circles are for those who move faster," said Dawa, a service station employee.
Lhasa city government has 19 service centers along the route walked by devotees. "I started work at seven and won't leave until nine, for Friday and Saturday, we need to work longer hours," said Dawa.
Tibetans believe religious activities including turning prayer wheels, giving offerings, freeing captive animals, making blessings and showing mercy in this month will bring them more merit than on ordinary days.