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From: China Tibet Information Cenrter 2005-03-12 14:10:00
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Ancient customs and habits

Many of Tibet's traditional customs and habits have been passed down through history. In this part of the world, Tibetan and solar calendars are in use. Funerals and weddings are arranged according to Tibetan customs.

When one dies, lamas are invited to chant sutras to redeem the sins of the dead. Relatives of the deceased give alms in monasteries, and keep vigil beside the body for seven sets of seven days, with each set ending in mourning activities. During this 49-day period, neighbors and relatives refrain from singing, dancing, or even speaking loudly. Regarding burial ceremonies, the celestial burial is dominant. The celestial burial grounds east of the Sera Monastery in the northern suburb of Lhasa and the Palbengang Celestial Burial Ground are the most famous. The Tibetans believe that when one has been dead for exactly one year, he/she will return to the world. At this time, his/her relatives will invite friends to sing and dance at home to mark the new life of the deceased's soul.

Lhasans pay much attention to the wedding ceremony. Today, when a man and a woman fall in love with each other, their parents will meet to decide upon the marriage. Generally speaking, a new family is formed through ceremonies such as "asking the hand of the woman," "being engaged," "having the bride greeted home," and "holding the wedding ceremony." Each ceremony includes drinking and singing. In the past, the bride had to ride a horse and would enter the home of her forthcoming husband before the rise of Venus. This also applied to a man being married into his wife's family. Having money saved up, the Lhasans spend a large amount on the wedding ceremony. Three or four drinking shelters will be put up along on the path the bride travels. A wedding ceremony generally lasts for three to five days. During this period, hosts and guests eat and drink to their heart's content.

[editor : ]
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