|Several times a year monks from the local Ritoma Monastery are invited to Norlha to conduct rituals. These vary according to need; usually, a divination is performed and a particular ritual is advised. A well functioning workshop is for the good of all.
One of these is the Fire Offering, as illustrated in the photos. A hearth is built by the monks and an elaborate display of various ingredients including an array of grains, honey and incense are displayed on a table. A fire is built and the monk conducting the ritual throws them one by one onto the fire, which is kindled by pouring oil. The monk visualizes a celestial bath house and invites the deities to a ritual bath that clears obstacles.
Smoke and wind spreads the fragrance from the burnt offerings far and wide, long after the ritual is completed. Birds, especially Alpine Choughs love to pick though the charred remains. We also received the visit of a particular tall sheep, a Tsethar (spared life) that is always around the guesthouse and regularly picks through the garbage. It spent many hours nosing through the smoky grain, sometimes attempting to swallow a delicious morsel, burning its mouth in the process.