Originally it is a pagan festival rooted in the nomadic tradition. The New Year was then held in the autumn, before the herds were wintering and milk production decreased.
The event took on a Buddhist connotation after Khubilai decided to move the Mongolian New Year by making it coincide with the first new moon of spring, that is to say in February.
Indeed, the feast of Tsagaan sar being very popular, the religious institutions were obliged to insert it in their system.
Each year the date is calculated according to the lunar calendar.
The traditional process:
A me before the party, we are already preparing. The Ger (yurt) must be stored clean. We put aside the cheeses, the airage and in general, everything that is white food, shopping gifts, cakes Ul boov, and Uuts sheep meat.
The cakes are arranged in large dishes, by 9, 7, 5,3 floor according to the number of years of common life. The older one, the more cakes, decorated with sweets and aruuls (dry cheese). This set is called Shiniin Idee:
The second big dish of the Tsagaan Sar table is Uuts, which one will eat at the oldest relatives of the family.
Uuts is a dish that consists of steaming the back and the back of a sheep.
These are the two main dishes found on the table of Tsagaan-Sar of each family in Mongolia.
New Year’s Day is called bituun. On the evening of bituun, they say farewell to the year that passed by making a great festive meal, in Mongolian bituurekh. We eat buz, milk reefs , or grapes. Then the evening ends with the games of ossicles or khorol, a kind of domino with drawings of 12 Asian calendar animals. This evening, the families stay between them. We do not visit any other family.
On the morning of this first day of the new year, Shiniin Negen, you have to get up very early in the morning before sunrise. The wife of the family prepares Mongolian tea with milk.
The first drop of tea must be offered to nature, heaven and earth.
On the morning of the New Year, before sunrise, the mistress of the house makes offerings to heaven, throwing in all directions the airag contained in a bowl of silver.
After sunrise we gather around the fireplace to share the tea.
The first gestures of this day are extremely important. Thus the first steps, the first movements made this day are ritualized. Depending on his year of birth, the first steps taken outside the Ger must be in a precise direction: one must go towards one direction and return from another. Mongolian astrology should be consulted for these directions.
No untoward incident should disturb the rest of the day. A dispute would mean that there will be a quarrel throughout the year. So no derogatory words, no displaced gestures.
To work ? it is out of the question! This day should be dedicated to the celebration.In the evening one sleeps at home. To sleep in another means to spend the year wandering, to be disorderly.
The next day only you can resume a normal activity
With the nadaam, Tsagan sar is the most important event in the year.