Tsagaan Sar the main celebration of the Mongols
Tsagaan sar is one of the biggest events for life of Mongolian people. Lunar festive is a New Year holiday as well as beginning of the spring. Mongols celebrate the season when everything natural earns a life according to lunar calendar.
The celebration comes from the deep of the centuries when our ancestors of Huns Empire have created a lunar calendar. Urban population used to celebrate a new year with the beginning of planting accepted this calendar from Huns that was very creative. Tsagaan Sar is listed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Why Mongolian people celebrate Tsagaan Sar
Mongolians have been living as a nomadic way of life for thousands of years on the Eurasian great steppe. Depending on their lifestyle their culture and tradition have become so unique. They had to look for the better pasture to feed the animals and migrate several times a year throughout the country. They had not enough time to spend and meet their relatives regularly. It might be the reason for celebrating this uncommon holiday. The main purpose of this festival is to greet, to meet each other, to know how their life is going on, how is the pasture of the other regions etc…And finally they were celebrating their happiness to see each other as their well living, to respect older ones, to love younger ones and it may seem to be a family holiday. It contains longtime traditions, customs, beliefs, heritage, respect, and love. So warm and nice celebration of the human.
How Mongolians celebrate this festival
Lunar Festive begins with the New Year eve. Table with reach meal is prepared on the final day of the current year called a day of Bituun. Bituun makes obstacles to rise negative things and meet a coming year called with all the best. Things are cleaned depts. Are paid, enemies become friends this day. Every family offers to scarify to gods in order to avoid bad things.
The oldest person of the family puts to show or ice on the top of the right pillars of Mongolian brazier and by putting wormwood to chase all the negative things. Finally wearing the newest costume, hat all family members celebrate an eve. This ceremony offers special meals like buuz, dumplings steamed mutton, head of the sheep to all members of the family who greet each other wishing prosperity and health. After that family members listen to interesting stories or play traditional games with uncle-bone shooting and other table games.
According to Lunar Calendar with the beginning of the day, Mongols celebrate a New Year called white Moon or Tsagaan Sar in the Mongolian language. From the beginning of the day when Chinggis Khaan has reigned to a King of the Unified Sate of All Mongols, a New Year called White Moon day has been enriched with state and official content.
The word white moon symbolized that all the negative things passed away with the previous year and the coming will be positive “White” and “Clean”. That is why if the first day were clean, then the next days during a year would be white and clean with no troubles. Family members wear celebration costume, prepare enough food, meals and try to have gifts enough for every guest.
On the first day of Tsagaan Sar, everyone wakes up early morning, wears beautiful traditional costumes and greets with the oldest member of the family with deep respects. This greeting has its own specific manner, holding arms of the elderly by both arms. This manner of greeting called “Zolgolt” in Mongolian. According to the customs, close relatives, friends visit each other to greet. In this occasion, all offer a gift to each other.
Tsagaan Sar in the early years
Traditionally, a white color is accepted during these days. Meals must be white too, such as milk products, milk tea, yogurt with white rice, mare’s fermented milk and dried yogurt etc…
Previously all used to wear a white lather traditional costume and had only milk products for its white colors. Some historians’ state that in ancient years a new had been celebrated in autumn.
What to do when you visit Mongolia during Tsagaan Sar days?
For travelers and photographers, the festival is one of the must experience things in Mongolia. In the new year eve, You will visit or stay with Mongolian nomadic family to get knowledge of Mongolian culture, traditions, and history; to take an interesting explanation about shamanism and getting to know about Mongolian script, learning traditional games, enjoying folklore show and much more to explore… Also, you can make traditional foods; buuz and dumpling and some little preparation for the festival and celebrate it together. The next days, making the first path of the New Year before the sun rises according to individual’s born day and year as Mongolian customary, horse riding, learning Mongolian traditional dances, taking photos with the costume of an ancient hero, queen, and shaman and the other interesting activities would be offered to you.