Tibetan scenery

Tibet Shoton Festival 2011

I attended the Shoton festival on two occasions. Shoton is the transliteration of two Tibetan words which mean ‘Yoghurt Banquet’. The festival originated at Drepung Monastery, as a celebration to mark the end of the monks’ Yarné, their hundred day summer retreat. It begins on the new moon marking the end of the sixth Tibetan month. It includes performances of the musical dance dramas known as Ache Lhamo (Tibetan Opera).

Families from all over Tibet gather in the valleys to celebrate this most important event. Wealthy families erect tents that resemble a spacious living area. I had the pleasure of being invited into many tents as a guest.

Food will be served to the visitor, Tibetan Tea with salt. Against all wrong impressions, I must say that I saw Tibetan families with noticable wealth. Many Tibetan folks ride down from high mountain dwellings to attend the Shoton.

Shoton Festival

Shoton Festival

In other parts of Tibet the dances are part of the harvest festival, and yoghurt would be served at the feast which followed. The Ache Lhamo dances are attributed to Thangtong Gyalpo, also known as Chaksampa, a lama of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, also famous for building iron chain bridges in many parts of Tibet.

Tibet - Shoton Festival

Tibet - Shoton Festival

The popularity of this festival was such that the government decreed it an annual event of a further five days, established at the Norbulingka. There are performances by all the established companies from throughout Tibet, some of which can perform the whole Lhamo repertoire, and some who specialize in one particular drama.

Some of the stories are derived from Indian Buddhist legends, while others relate incidents in Tibetan history.   Shoton Festival: Ache Lhamo performance at the Norbulingka

During the festival all the residents of Lhasa go out and gather in the Norbulingka Park. They set up beautiful tents and hang curtains there. They bring cakes, sweets, dairy products, yak-butter tea and have wonderful picnics. Professional and amateur Tibetan opera troupes gather in the Norbulingka Park and perform various Tibetan operas.

Tibetan photography on whitershade.com

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Tibetan horseman

Tibetan horseman

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Red Tea Classics


Red Tea Classics


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AAE has more than 120 different teas which it markets. Amongst them, notably are some of the most valued teas known to connoisseurs :
Oolong from Ali Shan mountain. Our main attraction : Pu Er Cha (Pu Er) the tea of longevity fro south western Yunnan ‘s mountainous region. This tea has no equivalent. It has been appraised since thousands of years as one of the life prolonging elixirs that exist in this world.
From our own experience, when we visited the Region we found numerous old folks who sip Pu Er throughout the day, and it is safe to claim their health is astounding.
The oxidants in Pu Er are much comparable with the well known French Red Wines, but lack the Alcohol.
Our red tea classics are the next we would like to appraise to you.
The West only knows so called ‘Black tea‘ whilst in the East we call it ‘Red Tea’ which gives more relevance to its red, distinct color tone.
Whatever your choice, Red Tea, Pu Er, or the more stringent ‘Green teas‘ we have them. The price ranges are largely depending on the origin, with Oolong from Taiwan the most expensive.
Also of interest will be the ‘Black Buckwheat tea’ that TCM has been favored for thousands of years to reduce High Blood Pressure.

Of course, there will be those who prefer to swallow crude oil derivates rather than sipping daily a herbal tea with functions less stringent.

 

An example of a slightly higher grade of Chine...

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Maojian

We do not want to entice anyone who is not convinced that herbal teas are a subtler method to cure one’s ailments, at a prolonged period however.
We come to another tea, Longjin tea, which is another type of green tea growing in Eastern China around Hanzghou. The teas are a bit milder in taste comPared to Oolong.
There are those who are Longjin aficionados who swear on drinking Longjin tea.
For more on our teas visit  AAE Tea