TSAGAAN SAR Mongolian New Year in lunar calendar
Tsagaan sar - White Month traditional new year is celebrated in many cases in February, exact date is calculated according to the lunar calendar. White month celebration source is connected to the celebration of Thanksgiving Day celebrated until XIII century in autumn. Chinggis Khan decided to celebrate it in the spring and called White month. The white color is symbol of all that is beneficial, purity and frankness. The popular form of this festival includes a series of deeply symbolic rituals that must be carried out in strict observance of the rules to ensure a happy and favorable year. The New Years Eve is called Bituun and each family takes feast in the Eve day. The feast meals are steamed whole meat of sheep, dumplings, tea with milk, bakeries and milk products.
On the first day of spring White month women offer a milk tea or milk to the blue sky asking for the good luck for their family. Before the sun rises, men and boys go to the nearest or sacred mountain peak and offer 3 stones to the ovoo (pile of stone) as a gift to the god of nature and blue sky, consequently, when the sun rises they greet with sun as shouting in loud voice as Uuhai and Uuhai (meaning is Hooray). Then they come back to their homes and all people start to greet with each other as holding blue silk scarf called khadag, which is a symbol of respect. The greetings are expressed through very specific ritual gestures and mutual salutations. However, this greeting is not used between husband and wife. Once the ritual greetings are done, parents say a blessing and express good wishes to all family members and guests.