Monday, March 28, 2011

Tsagaan Sar

Or literally, "White Month," is probably the biggest Mongolian holiday of the year. In most cases, it lasts for 3 days at the start of February. In my soum, the celebration continues for 20 days.

Tsagaan Sar is a cross between Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and St. Patrick's Day. Everyone dresses up in their best del and walks from house to house. At each house, you must drink milk tea, take a shot of vodka, and eat some buutz. Then, when you leave, the host gives you a present, anything from candy to pens to bath products. I got a belt from one of my counterparts and bath products from another (I hope that's not a hint).

To sum it up, you trick or treat around town, drink endless milk tea, equal amounts of vodka, eat obscene amounts of buutz and see how long you can go without puking. Just kidding. It was alot of fun to visit everyone's houses and gers and to hang out with all my friends and co-workers in a non-school setting.

Oh, Anhaa's mom, who has adopted me as her fourth daughter, made me my own Mongolian del. Awesome, non?

This is Anhaa's family. Her uncle, mom, and dad. The cake-like structure on the table is a traditional Tsagaan Sar decoration/dish. It is basically a cookie fort filled with aral (milk products) and candy.

It wouldn't be a holiday in Mongolia without a sheep's head.

Just. Too. Cute.

More of Anhaa's family. The two women on the right are her sisters, Mojie and Zolaa.

This is me greeting my director. The first time you meet someone during Tsagaan Sar you must greet them by saying the words, "Amar bain oh?" If you are younger than the person you are greeting, you arms go underneath his or hers (like so).

Shinee, Me, Bajay, and Anhaa. Note to self: get awesome hat for next year.

1 comment:

  1. How is one ever at peace in the presence of so many competing patterns :-)