The Great Prayer Festival (Monlam Chenmo) of Lhasa was traditionally attended by tens of thousands of monks from various monasteries at the Tsuglagkhang in Lhasa. But in 1964, the Prayer Festival saw the number of monks and days of celebration greatly scale down. After the 1959 crackdown, out of the 1,00,000 monks and nuns in Tibet, only a few thousands remained.
Two monks with a banner lead a group of monks with a giant portrait of Mao Zedong and flags to celebrate the foundation of the so-called “Tibet Autonomous Region” on September 9, 1965. Less than a year later, the monks and nuns
became the target of the wrath of violent Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution.
The Tibetan Red Guards from the Tibet Teacher Training School and Lhasa Middle School, the first Red Guards in Lhasa during the formal launch of “the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” in Tibet, August 19, 1966. They smashed and destroyed everything in Lhasa under the slogan, “smash the four olds.”
Around 50,000 people gathered and marched through the streets of Lhasa, during the formal announcement of the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” in Tibet on August 19, 1966.
The Red Guard’s uniform resembled that of the military and was extensively worn by the Red Guards in both China and Tibet. Tibetan women traditionally kept their hair long but during the Cultural Revolution; they began sporting short hair as a revolutionary symbol and a departure from the “old system.”