The Dalai Lama turns 85 on July 6. The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), also known as Tibetan government-in-exile, said in a statement on Friday, that Tibetans around the world will observe 'Year of Gratitude' starting July 1.
The Kashag - the Tibetan parliament - will mark the 14th Dalai Lama's 85th birthday with a series of virtual events worldwide. The 'Year of Gratitude' will be observed from July 1 to June 30, 2021.
In a special conversation with NDTV earlier this month, the Dalai Lama said, he is proud that both mentally and physically, he is the son of India. "For more than 50 years, this body has survived with India's dal and rice", he said. Ahead of his 85th birthday, the Tibetan spiritual leader said "spiritually India is our home and democratic country".
The 'Year of Gratitude' will be marked in appreciation of all the Dalai Lama's "outstanding contributions". The focus will be on sharing and celebrating his teachings, the CTA statement said.
The main celebrations are scheduled on July 6, when around 50 dignitaries will gather at the Tibetan parliament at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, Lobsang Sangay, the CTA president, told news agency PTI.
There will be restrictions on the number of dignitaries at the Tibetan parliament, as per the Home Ministry's guidelines to curb the spread of coronavirus, the CTA said.
People in Tibetan localities throughout India will mark the day and there will be ceremonies and festivities, while ensuring that the strict guidelines for COVID-19 are followed.