Mongolian people’s Lunar New Year is a celebration of overcoming winter and welcoming spring. Also, unity of the people, pride in national heritage, culture, and customs, respect for father, mother, grandparents, and each other strengthen the ties of relatives, know the genealogy, love the teachings with compassion for the youth, refresh the spirit, and prepare for the year. It is a festival that preserves many customs and traditions that are celebrated and renewed by the people. The Mongolian New Year is the first month of spring, and the name “White Moon” was born from the word “tsagaa” for dairy products. Due to the agricultural needs of the pastoral people, the New Year was celebrated on the first day of the first month of spring, but it also symbolizes that the harsh and stormy winter has passed and warm weather has arrived. The Lunar New Year ceremony consists of two main parts: sealing and renewal.
Bitun Day and Bitun Ritual
Usually, the last month of winter is called “bitun”. On this day, the moon is not visible in the sky due to the darkness, and Mongolians call this winter’s new moon “Lawai month”. In this way, it is considered that a full year ends in darkness. On this day, every family will have a final meal of the year at home, and it is a ritual to close the passing scores. New Year’s Day Ceremony: From dawn to dusk on New Year’s Day, the colors of that year are analyzed. It is believed that if the dawn is long and the sun is clear and cloudless at sunrise, then the year will be auspicious for babies and children. On New Year’s Day, do not commit karma, spend the night at home, cry, fight, throw ashes anywhere, go swimming, or lie down and sleep during the day. Making a shoulder: It is a ritual performed on the morning of the first day of the Lunar New Year. It is a ritual of the head of the household to make the first day of the year by starting his shoulder in the direction of the rising sun or sitting in the good direction.
The people of the house put on their beautiful clothes, and the oldest people in the house will give Zolgoh to their grandparents, father, and mother. After that, he will talk with the elders of the neighborhood milking. In this way, the procession begins, elders, young people, and children will go to each family separately, and those who come to visit will be treated with respect and gifts will be exchanged. After the New Year’s feast, auspicious blessings are given to the family members. A person who hears a blessing will say briefly, “May that blessing last forever.” When wearing a hook, wrap the middle finger of your right hand from the inside of one end of the hook and let it hang down towards the side with the index finger. Do not place the hoe on the hands of the person. Greetings: Knowing me is a sign of respect and is addressed as “you” even if someone is younger than you. First, say goodbye, then say hello to the season, and then say hello. It is called “complete health”. When greeting the groom, the guest should be fully dressed and buttoned. Greet a foreigner according to Mongolian customs. Do not say goodbye to a person who has experienced grief. Also, Mongolians don’t shake hands instead of shaking hands. In the coming year, we wish you to be happy and easy and to multiply your horses and livestock in abundance. “Is your body transparent? They greet the herd by saying, “Do you have a dam, are you muscular, are the boys fair, are the girls colorful?”, etc. Smoking: When you smoke negatively, you don’t smoke without letting go of your head. Refrain from anger when arguing. This tradition became popular during the time of High Saint Zanabazar and was called “mendi shar”. When a woman smokes, she brings her snuff to her forehead and holds it with both hands to the elder and the guest. It is also customary to take the elder’s snuffbox with both hands, lift it above his head and return it with a bow. Women and young people sniff and hold back the snuff head without touching it. When people are upset, they lighten their hearts with snuff. The bellows head cannot be pressed. It is a sign of a broken relationship. Bellows are divided into small hands, middle hands, and big hand. You can’t say no to pipe smoking. When smoking a pipe, even if you are not smoking, take the straw side and bring it to your cheek and return it. Then wipe the straw off the pipe with your fist.
When putting meat on the table, put it according to the traditions that have been handed down. When the whole meat is laid out, the sheep are placed in order according to how they were in life, the neck, the back, the two hindquarters, the two thigh wedges below the front, and the limbs are placed as if they were lying down. The original side of the meat should be shown to the guest. The guest should hold it by the head and cut it from side to side. At the end of the night, the owner of the house touches the nine parts (head, beak, two jaws, two ears, two sides of the loin) and offers them to the fire. Then offer it to God and distribute it to the people in the house. It is customary that only the owner of the house or the guest of honor touch the rump. When touching the juice, make one cut in the middle of the tailbone, then three cuts along the two lines of the loin from the junction of many bones. Then, from the edge of the back side, two cuts are made and the samples are combined and given to the fire god. If there are a lot of guests, the elder will touch his loins and give a share to others. In doing so, he takes the endowment with both hands, showing great respect. Giving gifts: There are many kinds of gifts. In the past, the most respected person was given a gift of fine silk, gold and silver jewelry, well-groomed hair, culture and scriptures along with nine white gifts. Ashdiin three gifts include a white carpet, freshly milked milk, and warm-beaked animals such as sheep and horses. Although the tradition of gift-giving is changing over time, tea, mugs, and mugs that have been handed down from time immemorial will be highly respected gifts.