His Holiness at the birthday celebrations in Dharamsala
On June 26, 2003, His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa turned 18 years old, according to the Western traditions of counting birthdays. (According to the Tibetan tradition, His Holiness was 19 years old as of the Tibetan New Year.) At Gyuto, though no large celebration was planned, many people showed up to wish His Holiness well. Offerings were made by representatives of the Tsurphu Labrang and Sherab Ling Monastery, and long life prayers were performed by a gathering of supplicants. His Holiness gave a teaching in the afternoon. In Rumtek, celebrations were presided over by HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche and a video message specially taped by His Holiness was played for the attendees.