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Tsagaan Sar 2021

The Lunar New Year feast provides a great occasion to truly indulge in meat dumplings, just hope that the thaw does not spoil all the food stored outside

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The success of the festival depends on the correct choice of the date. If it is slightly late, warm temperatures may deprive the attendees of a delicious specialty called "buuz". This is actually the local name for traditional meat dumplings, millions of which are stored outside in the frost before the start of the feast. Just hope the meat doesn't spoil and you are in for a great feast.

Ul Boov (not a very traditional one). Darkhan, Mongolia 2020
Ul Boov (not a very traditional one). Darkhan, Mongolia
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Tsagaan Sar literally means "white moon" as the white color represents purity and happiness. It usually falls on some three days between January and February or March, which are determined by a Buddhist leader beforehand. Regarding weather conditions, the end of winter and the beginning o​f spring are marked with strong winds and sandstorms, so it is advisable to wear a scarf to protect yourself.

In some regions of Mongolia, families burn candles at the altar on this day. Mongols also visit families to exchange gifts and perform a traditional zolgokh greeting by holding each other by the elbows. It's common to see people in national Mongol costumes carrying khadag—a blue, silk cloths. After a lavish dinner with buuz, sheep tails, and mutton, people socialize and drink airag—an alcoholic drink made of fermented horse milk.

The best way to celebrate Tsagaan Sar in Mongolia is definitely within a rural family. Tsagaan Sar celebration tours depart from the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and also finish there.

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