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The Birth Ceremony


The birth ceremony is called Pangsai in Tibetan, with "pan" meaning fowls and "sai" cleaning away. The Tibetans believe newborn babies come to the world alongside fowls, and a ceremony should be held to wipe them out so that these babies would be able to grow healthily and mothers recover soon. Such rituals, evolved from a Bon religious ritual to worship the God, have been going on for more than 1,500 years. On the third day of the birth of boy (fourth day for a girl), households tied together through gyido association come for the rituals, bringing such gifts as qingke barley wine, buttered tea, meat, butter and clothing for the newborn. As soon as they enter the house, they present hada scarves to the baby's parents and then the baby. This is followed by toasting, presenting gifts, and examining the baby while offering good wishes. Some families throw in a pancake feast to entertain the visitors.

The ceremony of becoming an adult
When a Tibetan girl is sixteen years old, her family will select a good day to hold the ceremony of becoming an adult for her.
At that day, her parents will invite a lucky girl with the same age to wear herhair in two braids, which means that she is old enough to get married. Then the girl will wear the decoration of Patsu and the colorful skirt of Bangdian. Later, the girl's parents, relatives and guests will present her Hadas on congratulation. When the ceremony is over, the girl followed by three or four relatives, goes to the temple wo worship the Buddha statue. After they come back, the family will provide a rich dinner for the guests. After the ceremony ,the girl is allowed to make friends with boys and get married late.

Customers of the post office in an endless stream, photo by Wang Fei.
The local people in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, enjoy the warm spring as well as the cultural atmosphere.




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