Tsagaan Sar symbolises the end of winter and welcomes the beginning of spring - it’s a time to gather with family and friends and celebrate the awakening of nature.
While events for the past two years were suspended due to the pandemic, this year families can enjoy unrestricted celebrations.
The easing of restrictions is due to more than 65 per cent of the population having received two COVID vaccinations and a further 31 per cent receiving three vaccinations.
The meaning of Tsagaan Sar
Mongolian nomads live with nature and adjust their lifestyle to the weather of the four seasons of the year - summer can reach up to 40 degrees while the winter can drop to minus 40 degrees. Overcoming the harsh winters and the breeding of livestock is a significant occasion for Mongolian nomads.
Tsagaan Sar translates to ‘White Month’ which refers to dairy products such as milk, that become plentiful in spring due to the breeding of livestock.
Mongolians prepare for the holiday almost a month before by cleaning the house, getting rid of broken items, preparing food, and either buying or making their own tradition coat called a ‘Deel’.
Families gather together to enjoy a feast on the day of Bituun, the day before Tsagaan Sar, which refers to the name of the lunar phase of a new or dark moon. The main meals consumed are steamed dumplings, milked tea and other dairy products.
On the first day of Lunar New Year everyone wears their Deel and departs their home, taking a certain number of steps based on their year and date of birth according to astrologist or monk instruction. This Buddhist ritual is called ‘mor gargah’ and is meant to remove obstacles in a person’s life to enter the new year.
We wish our Mongolian teammates and their families a very happy and safe Tsagaan Sar!