A Sacred Art by the Tibetan Lamas
Kata Offering Scarves
The offering of a Kata is a well-known Tibetan custom.
When offered in greeting, the Kata symbolizes the very
best intentions and happiness of the giver. It is representative
of the start of a good relationship. Our Katas are made
of white silk and have the Eight Auspicious Symbols woven
To properly present a Kata, you first fold it in half
lengthwise, representing interdependence. Then it should
be offered with the open edges facing the person you are
presenting the scarf to. This openness signifies an open
heart with no negative motives in presenting the gift.
When presenting a Kata to an elder or honored monk,
it is presented with a humble bow and your palms pressed
together. In most cases, the Kata will be returned to
you as a token of blessing. On some occasions the Kata
is presented and not returned, such as birthdays and other
special events personal to the receiver.
It is also a Tibetan custom to place katas on altars,
statues, and certain pictures or paintings as a sign of
White Katas are symbolic of peace, but there are other
colors and meanings. A red Kata is a symbol of power,
while a blue Kata symbolizes wisdom. Green and yellow
Katas symbolize confidence and happiness, respectively.
When given as a farewell, the Kata symbolizes the wish
for a safe journey and return.
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