Tsagaan Sar is the name for the Mongolian new year. Our country manager Amar Purev writes about this important celebration in the Mongolian calendar.
Tsagaan Sar is the celebration of the lunar new year which means the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Tsagaan Sar means “white moon” because white colour stands for purity and happiness. In Mongolia, the Tsagaan Sar festivities are held over two or three days in January or February depending on the years sequency. Unlike in many countries of the western world, it doesn´t always take place on the same day (like December 31st).
Tsagaan Sar is also the time for national games and horse races. But at the center of the holiday is the family. At Bituun (like the last day of the old year or new years eve is called) the family gather around richly served tables and have dinner together. Zolgokh is a traditional greeting. It is rather like shaking hands in the west, usually reserved for Tsagaan Sar, where younger people give their respect to the older generations.