Workers unload boxes of butter from the 7220190 refrigerator train at the Lhasa West Railway Station in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Jan. 27, 2019. (Xinhua/Wu Tao)
Nyidron stirs the butter until it completely melts in the pot and then puts the dough inside to fry. She takes out the dough when it turns golden and crispy and sprinkles sugar over it. The final product is a delicious treat called Kasai, a traditional Tibetan pastry for the New Year.
A local resident in Lhasa, Tibet, Nyidron makes the delicious food for her family every year, but the difference is that the butter she used this year was produced in Shenzhen, a city thousands of kilometers away on the southern coast of China.
As a daily necessity for Tibetans, butter is used to make tea and various types of food. It is especially in high demand on the eve of the Tibetan New Year, which coincides with the Spring Festival this year on Feb. 5.
A freight train with five refrigerator carriages loaded with 184 tonnes of butter traveled 5,154 km from the southern Guangdong Province to Tibet, enriching the holiday market in the region.
During winter months, the high-altitude region of Tibet is usually covered with snow, and its oxygen content drops. Winter supplies including rice, vegetables and frozen dumplings have been transported to the region from other places in the country.