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Dominic Massa / EyewitnessNews

NEWORLEANS - One month before the visit to New Orleans of the Dalai Lama, organizers on Saturday kicked off a series of events to welcome the spiritual leader to the city.

Organizers called the day Tibetan Prayer Flag Day, displaying the colorful flags which they said are symbols of peace, and encouraging NewOrleanians to display their own over the next month.

Flags will also be displayed at major intersections throughout the city leading up to the visit of the Dalai Lama to Tulane University May 16-18.

'We want to welcome the Dalai Lama here with his message of peace and compassion. The streets of our city have seen so much violence,' said First Lady Cheryl Landrieu, who was one of the speakers at Saturday's event, along with Archbishop Gregory Aymond and other religious and city leaders.

More than 60 events will be part of the Dalai Lama's visit to New Orleans in May ranging from a film series and lectures to group yoga classes.

One of the highlights is the creation of a sand mandala, a painting with colored sand, to be displayed at the Morial Convention Center May 14 17.

Tulane University's School of Social Work is organizing the events.

For a calendar of Dalai Lama events click here.

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