During the period of Autumn changing to Winter, the Potala Palace begins its annual painting work. The staff of the Potala Palace Management Office and the believers of Lhasa spontaneously participate in it. The Potala Palace is painted in September of Tibetan calendar each year and should be finished by Sept.22, when it is the annual “Buddha’s Descent Day”. Tibetan believers paint the walls of the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, and then other temples and their houses.
Built on the Maburi Hill, the main body of Potala Palace is divided into the Red Palace and the White Palace, with more than 10,000 square meters. It is a large-scale palace-style buildings with palaces, temples and towers. In 1994, the Potala Palace was listed as the World Cultural Heritage.
The walls of Potala Palace are painting by 4 colors, incl. red, yellow, white and black. According to the words from the staff, red represents the authority, incl. Economic, moral and other rights; yellow represents prosperity, incl. Life, fortune, wealth and other thriving scene; white represents peace, which is to eliminate disease, war, famine and other disasters; black represents a majesty, to get rid of evil.
It is understood that the paints of the Potala Palace include other agriculture products, such as milk, sugar, rock sugar, honey, brown sugar and so on. Yuda introduces that the white paint adds the right amount of milk and sugar for mixing, which can increase the viscosity of the coating. With them, it is more easily attached to the wall surface and it is not easy to be washed away until the next rainy season. Both to protect the wall, but also looks beautiful. After the main painting is finished, the details of the doors and windows will be painted and repaired.
After 300 years, the painting of Potala Palace has been followed by the traditional way of stucco paint. This method effectively ensures the color of the wall translucent and durable, which protect the wall well. In the deployment of coatings, the staff add mineral raw materials in proportion of red and yellow. At the same time, adding saffron can remove the smell, which is recorded in the Buddhist scriptures.
Adding sugar is to make the coating more sticky, easier to attach, but not easy to fall off.
Every year, when the Potala Palce starts to paint, all believers bring the milk as a paint and are spontaneous to come to help. When you travel to Lhasa now or in 2017, you can see a new Potala Palace.