The Katas, aka, offering scarves, are most often given as benediction or blessing after a empowerment ceremony. The kata has auspicious symbols on it.
The Tibetan custom of presenting offering scarve, aka, katas or katags, to spiritual teachers, lamas, Rinpoches, holy people, monks, nuns, at shrines and thangka paintings been practiced for eons. You can even see them on statues of Buddhas and images of deities. Katas can also be offered to spiritual friends at special times.
Giving katas lend a positive tone at the start of any enterprise or relationship and indicates the good intentions of the person offering it.
In Tibet and India, katas are given to govt. officials before a meeting to symbolize that the meeting is not spoiled by corrupt thoughts or ulterior motives.
Offering scarves also are excellent wedding party gifts where you offer them to all of the guests as a thank you, and blessing to them. Additionally, offering scarves can be presented to one another during the end of the wedding ceremony as an act of blessing.
You may also offer katags wrapped around a precious gift, such as a statue or other offering when it is being presented to a spiritual teacher, loved one or lama.
There are eight types of katas: Three sizes of elaborate dzod tak, which is a silk scarf with auspicious designs woven into it, the Mongolian scarf, which is bright blue, the ashi kata, which is plain silk, the subshi, which is loosely woven cotton, the sothar and the khachi.
There are also instances of using the offering scarves on inauspicious occasions. One of these the tying of an offering scarf around the neck of a corpse. It is said that once, when a wealthy man suddenly died, his servant, not knowing what else to do tied his cow's woolen halter around the corpse's neck and that this later became a tradition. It is also customary to tie a kata around the neck of a deceased lama, as a sign of petitioning his quick return and the unmistaken recognition of his reincarnation.
Our offering scarves are traditional white or saffron yellow, in either the 4.5' or 7' long, and include the eight auspicious symbols and mantra on them.