|Jan. 23, 2018 -- As the sun sets in the west, each household in the village starts to get busy, preparing stalks of barley, dough drops, and firecrackers for the children.
January 15, the 29th day of the 11th month in the Tibetan lunar calendar, was gutu night of the farmers' New Year in Shigatse. Families gather together to eat gutu, a kind of dough drops, chat, and talk about changes. The ancient city is filled with the festive atmosphere.
In Guojia Village in Jiangdang Township, adjacent to State Road 318, Kelsang's daughter Myima Puche is currently kneading dough, filling the dough drops with things like chili pepper, charcoal, wool, and six other materials according to traditional custom.
Kelsang said, "This is the traditional way of doing gutu. Everything has its own meaning. For example, wool represents a gentle personality."
Soon after, the whole family gathers together, sitting in front of the stove awaiting their feast. Several minutes later, Myima Puche serves each of them a bowl of gutu soup, and the family smiles and chats as they eat the soup. Laughter fills the room whenever someone eats something like chili pepper or wool.
"Gutu night is a time when the whole family gets together," Kelsang said." Those who work in other places come home during this time, reuniting with their families and enjoying the time together."
He also said that under the good political policies of the Party, they are able to live in a new home and work nearby; each day is getting better and better!
After dinner, the sound of firecrackers is heard outside. Kelsang's family also begins a traditional ritual to "expel the ghosts". He takes a torch and one by one goes into the living room, kitchen, and bedroom, to the underneath of the bed and corners of the rooms, shouting, "Come out! Come out!" At this time, the children at home, accompanied by the adults, ignite firecrackers and dance and play.
As the sky darkens, the sound of laughter from Kelsang's house from time to time echoes throughout the night.