On July 5th it was one year since grandfather died. According to their belief this is when the soul returns one more time to see the loved ones one more time before it departs permanently, so a ceremony is organized to help it find it’s way. The ceremony lasts 2 days. Preparations for it started already a few days before. Dad churned milk to make fresh butter, ground fresh tsampa (barley flower) and mom made fresh yak cheese.

Mom making cheese

Mom making cheese

Making cheese

Making cheese

On July 4th people started arriving after the morning duties were done (animals fed). Mostly women relatives arrived but also a few men to help prepare food for the guests. First mountains of flour needed to be sieved.


Also two lamas arrived. They were going to pray in grandfather’s room t help him find his way. They started by hanging a big drum on a frame that father had borrowed and baking tsampa cones for the altar. I’m no expert in Tibetan Buddhism so I don’t know what these are called or what is their purpose. I’ll ask and get back to it later if anyone is interested.

Prayer room

Prayer room

Tsampa cones

Tsampa cones

The women also started baking youtiao (kind of pastry with no filling cooked in oil). Some women baked at the terrace, others twisted the sweet pastries into shape in the main room and the cooking took place at the courtyard.


Cooking youtiao

Cooking youtiao

Mom’s brother prepared the pipa-meat (which is salted, dried pig meat, mostly skin and fat with a little bit of meat) that was to be served with noodles to the guests.

Burning off the hair from the pipa-meat. After this it's soaked to remove the salt, cooked and chopped.

Burning off the hair from the pipa-meat. After this it’s soaked to remove the salt, cooked and chopped.

After all the cooking was done it was time for lunch. This seemed to be women’s time together. We moved some tables to the terrace and ate warm youtiao with cold cucumber dish and, of course, lots of butter tea with yak cheese. After the women were done the men had their lunch.



To be continued….


2 responses to “Ceremony

  1. What a lovely tribute to your grandfather. Thank you for sharing 🙂


  2. Eila Kuivalainen

    Onpa mielenkiintoinen ja yksityiskohtainen kertomus tästä erityisestä juhlapäivästä hienoine kuvineen

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