Tsagaan Sar

The festival of the lunar New Year, Tsagaan Sar, is celebrated in or around February depending on the Mongolian lunar calendar.

The holiday is celebrated throughout Mongolia for three days. Tsagaan Sar, meaning White Month or Moon, is one the main two big public annual events, next to the Nadaam. It marks the end of Winter and the beginning of spring and the new year´s cycle.

The day before New Years Day is known as Bituun, meaning “to close down”.  At the eve of the old year there is a celebration called Bituuleg. There is a big amount of “covered food”, where the meat is covered by for instance a layer of dough. Also the Ul Boov is created: a pile of ceremonial bread (boov) in an odd number of layers. Later traditional games can be played, and oral histories are told. In the morning of the New Year traditionally the head of the family goes outside and walks in a direction, which is prescribed in a book of Buddhist astrology. During New Years day itself the children honor their senior relatives. They start with their parents and then following the rules of genealogical seniority the other relatives by doing Zolgolt. White and blue scarves, khadag, are presented to the most honoured.Traditionally the celebration would last for three days, but a period of seven days is currently aloud for visiting people and up to a month for wishes.

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