Labrang Monastery་ bla-brang is one of the six great monasteries of the Geluk (Yellow Hat) school of Tibetan Buddhism. Its formal name is: Gandan Shaydrup Dargay Tashi Gyaysu Khyilway Ling (dGe ldan bshad sgrub dar rgyas bkra shis gyas su 'khyil ba'i gling), commonly known as Labrang Tashi Khyil, or simply Labrang
Labrang is located in Xiahe County in Gansu province, in the traditional Tibetan area of Amdo. Labrang Monastery is home to the largest number of monks outside of Tibet Autonomous Region. Xiahe is located about 4 hours from the city of Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu.
In the early part of the 20th century, Labrang was by far the largest and most influential monastery in Amdo. It is located on the Sangchu or Xiahe River a tributary of the Huang He or Yellow River.
Labrang Monastery is located in the town of Xiahe, which belongs to the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
The monastery complex dominates the northern part of the village. The white walls and golden roofs feature a blend of Tibetan and Han architectural styles. The monastery contains 18 halls, six institutes of learning, a golden stupa, a sutra debate area, and houses nearly 60,000 sutras. There once were more than 2,000 monks in residence, but now only about 1,000, due to a twelve year closure starting in 1958. It has a Buddhist museum with a large collection of Buddha statues, sutras and murals. In addition, a large amount of Tibetan language books, including books on history is available for purchase, together with medicines, calendars, music and art objects.
There used to be a great golden statue of the Buddha, more than 50 feet high, which was surrounded by rows of surrounding Buddhas in niches.
The monastery today is an important place for Buddhist ceremonies and activities. From January 4 to 17 and June 26, to July 15, (these dates may change according to the lunar calendar), the great Buddhist ceremony will be held with Buddha-unfolding, sutra enchanting, praying,