Long Kowtow

Long Kowtow is one phenomena that in various parts of the roads that leading to Lhasa, people from time to time to see the pilgrims whom dressed with a “Leather made Apron ” putting their body on the ground and stretching their whole body as long as they can, then standing up with two hands together. Each time, the pilgrim only move the distance that their body covers. This action that to cover the whole road from beginning to the end with their body is one holy ritual which last for years being called: Long – Kowtow or “Ke Chang Tou | 磕长头” in Chinese Pin Ying;


The procedure is usually to be started with putting the hands together in front of the chest; then rise it up over the head, in the meantime, chanting the Buddhism Six True Words (also mantra) –” Om, Ma, Ni, Pad, Me, Hum“, then lower hands and touch the forehead, nose, mouth and finally back to the chest, then kneel down, and put two hands on the ground to hold the body, then stretching the upper body down till the whole body is to touch the ground; then put two hands together again, bending over elbows to rise two hands over the head again; after that, put two hands on the two sides of the body and push upper body up and stand up to complete one circle ; then repeatedly to do this.

Long Kowtow

The full procedures of a long Kowtow

The most common places that this happens are the two main roads that cross the Eastern Tibet of Kham to Lhasa, This two roads are marked as G317 and G318 which are both with start of Beijing and ends of Lhasa; In addition, the road from Xining to Lhasa is also one road that this action is to be seen; The end of this ritual is usually the end is Jokhang temple of Lhasa.

It also happens in monastery, which usually begins from the main gate, then follow the clockwise direction and to reach the main gate again, of which is counted as one Full-circle; Note: in the year of Horse, which is the year that Sakyamuni Buddha was born and passed away, one circle is counted as 12;