Tibetan Food – Tea
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Tibetan Food – Tea

Update: Jul. 5th, 2012

Tibetan Food - Tea

Tibetan Food – Brief Introduction of Tea in Tibet

The tea is very popular in Tibet since Tang Dynasty, and it was accept and loved by Tibetans and regarded as sacred thing by Tibetan. No matter the Zanpo or the Lama in every monastery in history, no matter the head of Tusi or common people, all of them regarded tea as necessary food in daily life. There is a proverb in Tibet that "Han nationality people eat rice to fill the stomach, while Tibetan use tea to fill the stomach", which full show the wide spread and large amount of tea in Tibet. In general, no matter the rich or poor in Tibet will drink tea for five or six time in a day, and everyone must drink tens bowls. In slack days, Tibetans like to sit around the fire to drink tea and chat. Some old people will turn the prayer wheel and chant the scripture, while drinking tea. Tibetan women will smear some milk tea or sugar on face when pay a formal visit to Lama, or she will be punished. In Tibetan custom about marriage, there are tea and Hada in betrothal gifts. On wedding, Tibetans will boil large amount of tea to entertain guests. The red color of tea represents the wonderful marriage. If a baby born in a family, this family will boil bright color tea to represent the beautiful appearance of baby. If there is a funeral, the color of tea should be dark to express mourning. The monks in monasteries need more tea due to they sit in the monastery to chat scripture all day. In Tibetan monasteries, it is very special to boil tea. The monks with high position and good merits can have the qualification of boiling Tibetan tea.

Tibetan Food – Special Dark Tea in Tibet

In Tibetan Buddhism, the dark tea is regarded as halidom, the favor from the hand of God. In all religious activities in monasteries, tea is always the first one on the list of necessary things, and the most important thing monasteries hand out to the poor is tea. In religious activities, the tea can be got as hadidom. Until now, there are hundreds years old brick tea from Tang area in Jokhang Temple, which regarded as the treasure of this temple by monks. It can prove that Tibetans regarded the dark tea more sacred than Han people, and the dark tea has become their symbol of sanctity and majesty. Tea has rich connotative meaning in Tibetan culture, which met and enriched Tibetans' need in daily life and has important and far-reaching influence for the culture communication of Tibetan and Han Nationality.

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