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The Mongolian Lunar New Year, commonly known as Tsagaan Sar (Mongolian: Цагаан сар, Cagán sar / ᠴᠠᠭᠠᠨ ᠰᠠᠷᠠ, Mongolian pronunciation: [t͡sʰaɢaːŋ sar] or literally White Moon)[note 1], is the first day of the year according to the Mongolian lunisolar calendar. The festival of the Lunar New Year is celebrated by the Mongols and some Turkic peoples. The holiday has shamanistic influences.
|Also called||Lunar New Year (as a collective term including other Asian Lunar New Year festivals, used outside of Asia.)|
Mongolian New Year
Mongol New Year
Russia (Agin-Buryat Okrug, Altai Republic, Buryatia, Kalmykia, Tuva, Ust-Orda Buryat Okrug)
China (Bayingolin, Bortala, Dorbod, Fuxin, Haixi, Harqin Zuoyi, Henan, Hoboksar, Inner Mongolia, Qian Gorlos, Subei, Weichang).
Religious (Buddhist and Shamanist)
|Significance||New Year holiday|
|2020 date||24 February, Rat|
|2021 date||12 February, Ox|
|2022 date||2 February|
|Related to||Chinese New Year, Japanese New Year, Tibetan New Year, Korean New Year, Vietnamese New Year|
The White Moon festival is celebrated on the first through third days of the first lunar month. Tibet's Losar occurs on the same day as the Mongolian White Moon. Tsagaan Sar is one of the most important Mongolian holidays. Originally, it is celebrated in spring.
In the national (Khitan) language this day (5th day of the 5th lunar month) is called "Tao Saiyir". "Tao" means five; "Saiyir" means moon/month.
The Mongols of Genghis Khan used the twelve-year animal cycle to mark their chronology. The Secret History of the Mongols written in 1240 as well as many letters of the Khans extensively use the twelve-year animal cycle. On the Year of the Red Hare, Genghis Khan ascended and purified himself on the first day of the lunar new year, wore new clothes, paid respects to Heaven and Earth, bowed and greeted his mother Hoelun and took part in a ceremony in his palace. On the first day of the lunar new year of the Year of the Rat (1216), Genghis Khan distributed gold presents to people aged over 60.
The beginning of their New Year is the month of February, and on that occasion the Great Khan and all his subjects made such a Feast as I now shall describe. It is the custom that on this occasion the Khan and all his subjects should be clothed entirely in white; so, that day, everybody is in white, men and women, great and small. And this is done in order that they may thrive all through the year, for they deem that white clothing is lucky. On that day also all the people of all the provinces and governments and kingdoms and countries that owe allegiance to the Khan bring him great presents of gold and silver, and pearls and gems, and rich textures of divers kinds. And this they do that the Emperor throughout the year may have abundance of treasure and enjoyment without care. And the people also make presents to each other of white things, and embrace and kiss and make merry, and wish each other happiness and good luck for the coming year.
After the Red Turban Rebellion drove the Mongols out of China in 1368 the Northern Yuan Dynasty continued Mongol traditions in the Mongol homeland. In contrast to the Naadam festival in summer which celebrates manly virtues Tsagaan Sar celebrates the softer virtues of peace and harmony. The color white represented especially by the white foods or "tsagaan idee" (various dairy products and rice with raisins) symbolize purity of intent. In Paragraph 254 of the Secret History of the Mongols the sons of Genghis Khan fight over who will succeed as next Khan. Genghis Khan sits silently as they fight. Khukhuchos speaks up and reprimands Chagatai (whose name, also written Tsagaadai, incidentally means White): "Chagatai, you have spoken careless words that have frozen the warm liver of your good queen mother, grieved her loving heart, dried her oil-like thoughts and curdled her milk white spirit." During Tsagaan Sar emphasis is placed on purity of intent or whiteness of spirit when visiting elder relatives. The greeting "Amar baina uu" (Are you in peace?) is said while the arms are extended with open palms showing no bad intention. The younger places his or her arms below the elder in a supporting fashion, both bow and embrace and the traditional Mongolian "sniff-kiss" is given by the elder on both cheeks. This traditional gesture is called zolgokh (greeting). Quarreling is taboo and emphasis is placed on genuine reconciliation. Gift-giving is central to Tsagaan Sar. A lavish feast is usually laid out to wish for happiness and prosperity in the coming year.
During the Qing Dynasty, the Mongolians followed the "shar zurhai" (yellow horoscope) to determine the day of the Lunar New Year. From 1911 onwards during the Bogd Khanate of Mongolia, the Mongolians have used the Tugs Bayasgalant horoscope which differs from the yellow horoscope on certain years.
The customs of Tsagaan Sar are significantly different depending on the region. In Mongolia around the New Year for example, 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. Before the day, many Mongols had to clean their houses.
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.
Depending on the region, food is prepared in a diverse array of forms. For example, the traditional food in Mongolia for the festival includes dairy products, rice with curds (tsagaa-цагаа) or rice with raisins (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, steamed dumplings known as buuz, horse meat and traditional cookies. Tsagaan Sar is a lavish feast, requiring preparation days in advance, as the men and women make large quantities of buuz as a whole family, along with ul boov, a pastry reserved for both dessert and presentation.
During Mongolia's Communist period, the government banned Tsagaan Sar after Choibalsan's death in 1952 and tried to replace it with a holiday called "Collective Herder's Day", but the holiday was practiced again after the 1990 Democratic Revolution in Mongolia.
This article needs to be updated.February 2018)(
The Mongol calendar in the Tegus Buyantu (Төгсбуянт) system is a lunisolar calendar. The Tegus Buyantu astrology was developed by Mongol high priest Luvsandanzanjantsan (1639–1704), the first reincarnation of the Blama-yin Gegegen (Ламын гэгээн). Tsagaan Sar is celebrated on the first through third days of the first lunar month.
|Gregorian year||Mongol year||Transliteration||Tsagaan Sar||Element and animal|
|1989||Цагаан||Tsagaan||7 February – 10 February||female earth Snake|
|1990||Машид согтонги||Mashid sogtongi||26 February – 28 February||male iron Horse|
|1991||Төрөлхтний эзэн||Törölkhtnii eeen||15 February – 17 February||female iron Sheep|
|1992||Ангира||Apgira||4 February – 7 February||male water Monkey|
|1993||Цогт нигурт||Tsogt nigurt||25 January – 30 January||female water Rooster|
|1994||Бода||Boda||11 February – 13 February||male wooden Dog|
|1995||Насан төгөлдөр||Nasan tögöldör||31 January – 5 February||female wooden Pig|
|1996||Баригч||Barigch||19 February – 21 February||male fire Mouse|
|1997||Эрхэт||Erkhet||8 February – 10 February||female fire Ox|
|1998||Олон үрт||Olon ürt||28 February – 2 March||male earth Tiger|
|1999||Согтох төгөлдөр||Sogtokh tögöldör||17 February – 19 February||female earth Rabbit|
|2000||Тийн дарагч||Tiin daragch||5 February – 8 February||male iron Dragon|
|2001||Сүргийн манлай||Sürgiin manlai||24 January – 26 January||female iron Snake|
|2002||Элдэв||Eldev||13 February – 15 February||male water Horse|
|2003||Наран||Naran||2 February – 4 February||female water Sheep|
|2004||Наран гэтэлгэгч||Naran getelgegch||21 February – 23 February||male wood Monkey|
|2005||Газар тэтгэгч||Gazar tetgegch||9 February – 11 February*||female wood Rooster|
|2006||Барагдашгүй||Baragdashgüi||30 January – 1 February||male fire Dog|
|2007||Хамгийг номхотгогч||Khamgiig nomkhotgogch||18 February – 20 February||female fire Pig|
|2008||Хотолыг баригч||Khotolyg barigch||8 February – 10 February||male earth Mouse|
|2009||Харшлалт||Kharshlalt||25 February – 27 February||female earth Ox|
|2010||Тийн урвагч||Tiin urvagch||14 February – 17 February||male iron Tiger|
|2011||Илжиг||Iljig||3 February – 5 February||female iron Rabbit|
|2012||Баясгалан||Bayasgalan||22 February – 25 February||male water Dragon|
|2013||Тийн ялагч||Tiin yalagch||11 February – 13 February||female water Snake|
|2014||Ялгуусан||Yalguusan||30 January – 1 February||male wood Horse|
|2015||Галзууруулагч||Galzuuruulagch||19 February – 21 February||female wood Sheep|
|2016||Муу нүүрт||Muu nuurt||9 February – 11 February||male fire Monkey|
|2017||Алтан унжлагат||Altan unjlagat||27 February – 1 March||female fire Rooster|
|2018||Тийн унжлагат||Tiin unjlagat||16 February – 18 February||male earth Dog|
|2019||Хамгийг номхотгогч||Khamgiig nomkhotgogch||5 February – 7 February||female fire Pig|
|2020||???||???||February 24 – 26 February||male iron Mouse|
|2021||???||???||12 February – 14 February||white cow|
|2022||???||???||2 February – 4 February||water tiger|
- List of Buddhist festivals
- Celebrations of Lunar New Year in other parts of Asia:
- Similar Asian Lunisolar New Year celebrations that occur in April:
- Ul boov
- "Tsagan Sar: The Mongolian Lunar New Year". Mongoluls. 2007. March 13, 2008.Mongoluls.net
- Амар байна уу? (Are you rested/peaceful?)
- "Tsagaan Sar, the Lunar New Year" Archived 2006-11-13 at the Wayback Machine
- Kohn, Michael. Lonely Planet Mongolia. Lonely Planet, 2008, ISBN 978-1-74104-578-9, p. 44
- Marsh, Peter. The Horse-head Fiddle and the Cosmopolitan Reimagination of Tradition of Mongolia. Routledge, 2009, ISBN 978-0-415-97156-0, p. 136
- Л. Тэрбиш. Монгол зурхайн цаг тооны бичиг