The colorful cotton cloth squares in white, blue, yellow, green and red with images, mantras and prayers on them are called Lungta or prayer flags. They are strung together on a string and flutter in the wind. They are found at Buddhist monasteries, temples and homes throughout the world.
"Lung" means wind and "ta" means horse. A mythical creature from Pre-Buddhist times was believed to combine the speed of the wind and the strength of a horse and his role was to carry prayers from earth to heaven. So the tradition of hanging lungta originated from this belief.
Hang prayer flags near your home to bring auspicious and good fortune. The belief is that the powerful mantras imprinted on the flags will be flown up to heaven on behalf of those that hang them and bless the whole area.
Lungta or prayer flags represent peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. Lungta are usually replaced yearly at the Tibetan New Year.