The Mongolian Lunar New Year, commonly known as Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian: Цагаан сар / Buryat: Сагаан һара; Oirat: Цаһан сар or literally White Moon), is the first day of the year according to the Mongolian lunar calendar. The festival of the lunar New Year is celebrated by the Mongols.
2016 Lunar New Year is on 09/02/2016
The White Moon festival is celebrated one month after the first new moon following the winter solstice. Tsagaan Sar is one of the most important Mongolian holidays
Around the New Year families burn candles at the altar symbolizing Buddhist enlightenment. Also people greet each other with holiday-specific greetings such as Амар байна уу? (Amar baina uu?), meaning "Are you living peacefully?" Mongols also visit friends and family on this day and exchange gifts. A typical Mongol family will meet in the home dwelling of the eldest in the family. Many people will be dressed in full garment of national Mongol costumes. When greeting their elders during the White Moon festival, Mongols perform the zolgokh greeting, grasping them by their elbows to show support for them. The eldest receives greetings from each member of the family except for his/her spouse. During the greeting ceremony, family members hold long, typically blue, silk cloths called a khadag. After the ceremony, the extended family eats sheep's tail, mutton, rice with curds, dairy products, and buuz. It is also typical to drink airag and exchange gifts.
The day before Tsagaan Sar is called Bituun, the name of the lunar phase of a new or dark moon. The lunar phases are Bituun (dark moon), Shined (new crescent moon), Tergel (full moon), and Huuchid (waxing moon). On the Bituun day, people thoroughly clean around home, herders also clean the livestock barns and shades, to meet the New Year fresh. The Bituun ceremony also includes burning candles to symbolize enlightenment of the samsara and all sentient beings and putting three pieces of ice at the doorway so that the horse of the deity Palden Lhamo could drink as the deity is believed to visit every household on this day. In the evening, families gather together—usually immediate family, in contrast to the large feast gatherings of White Moon day — and see out the old year eating dairy products and buuz. Traditionally, Mongolians settle all issues and repay all debts from the old year by this day
Traditional food for the festival includes dairy products, rice with curds (tsagaa-цагаа) or rice with raisin (berees-бэрээс), a pyramid of traditional cookies erected on a large dish in a special fashion symbolising Mount Sumeru or Shambhala realm, a grilled side of sheep and minced beef or minced mutton steamed inside pastry, a dish known as buuz, horse meat and traditional cookies. Tsagaan Sar is a lavish feast, requiring preparation days in advance, as the women make large quantities of buuz and freeze them to save for the holiday.
NOMADS WINTER: TSAGAAN SAR - MONGOLIAN LUNAR NEW YEAR
Date: Early spring, every year
Venue: Every where in Mongolia
“Tsagaan Sar”, “The Festival of the White Moon” which is celebrated in the beginning of spring, is the biggest traditional celebration in Mongolia. With the collaboration of local nomadic families, The main purpose of the event is to promote Mongolian nomads' ways of living and their customs of celebrating the traditional New Year. Therefore if you would like to have a real experience of how Tsagaan Sar is truly celebrated in the countryside by Mongolian herders, join us in “Tsagaan Sar 2016” tourist event.
Nomads winter- Tsagaan Sar Festival’s programs:
Tsagaan Sar’s Eve- Bituun’s day
Visit the Ger library to learn about Mongolian literature, heritage and culture
Visit to the statue of Shaman, “Tev Tenger”, listen stories about the fascinating customs of ancient shamanism and enter to the urts, shaman wigwam.
Taste the Mongolian milk vodka
Play Mongolian folk games (Learn how to play with anklebones and compete in the following, exciting games such as Mongolian puzzle game, Alag Melkhi or multicolored turtle, catching anklebones, anklebones horse racing, anklebones flicking etc)
Visit a true nomadic, local herder’s family and help, experience in preparing traditional food buuz, bansh (Mongolian dumplings) which are Bituun’s main meal.
Take a part in preparation of the Tsagaan Sar’s table dish and complete Bituun’s custom
Traditional folk music performance
Mongolian national costume show
The First Day of the Tsagaan Sar
Before sunrise you will walk your first steps of the New Year as prescribed by Mongolian traditional beliefs. Each person has a different ritual to perform depending on their birth year and month.
Look at the first sunshine of the New Year from the top of a mountain, the ovoo
Offer the best to the heaven of mountains and rivers
Visit a local herder’s family on the first day of the Lunar New Year
learn traditional Mongolian new year greeting customs and experience it
Have traditional dish
Help to herd livestocks in nomadic ways
Photos with camel and horse riding
Enjoy horse racing
Photos in traditional costumes of the ancient warriors, queens and shaman
Learn traditional Mongolian dances “Zadgai tsagaan”, “Khumuun turlukhtun”
Enjoy a documentary movie about Mongolian people’s daily life and culture
The second day of the Tsagaan Sar
Price: 60 USD= 116.280 MNT per person per day (the price might change every year and includes breakfast, excludes transport to and from the complex, accommodation and meals. Possible to car service)
We hope that you enjoy our Lunar New Year!