Every year starting in 2007, Norlha has held an annual picnic attended by the whole of Norlha’s staff, their families and friends in the village and beyond. Picnics, though being the favorite Tibetan way to enjoy the joys of and all too short summer, are more a pastime for city dwellers as farmers and nomads have their busiest time in the summer months. Winter, when animals are nearby and feeding on fodder is deemed more suitable for family reunions, merry making and religious activity with marriages, pilgrimage and other festivities.
The annual picnic is seen as one of the highlights of the year and lasts for three days. Preparations are started days ahead, a spot is carefully chosen, tents pitched and a kitchen is set up. There is singing and dancing, eating, games of all sorts and the inevitable water fights with women and men pitted against each other. While other festivities like the lhatse, which brings together people from the whole of Zorge, are a way for young unmarried women and men to come in their best and gaze at each other, the annual picnic is more a time for inter family fun. People who are close and work side by side all year can eat, laugh and play together, along with their children who form their own little groups and games.
This year, after years of the choosing the higher pasture as a picnic ground, a new spot was found along the river in the valley beyond the monastery. This gave a new impetus to the water fights, that were taken to another level