Tsagaan Sar started as a celebration of dairy goods in the autumn. However, in 1206, Chinggis Khaan passed a decree to celebrate it in the first month of every spring. In the 17th century, Tsagaan Sar was combined with Buddhist tradition.
Since then, Tsagaan Sar has become symbolic festival with the deep political and spiritual meaning. Tsagaan Sar, the festival of the Lunar New Year is celebrated in or around January or February depending on the Mongolian Lunar New Year calendar. In 2016, the first day of the Tsagaan Sar is on Feb 09, and first 3 days of the Tsagaan Sar is very important. You have to visit elder people within first 3 days and in the countryside, it continues between 2 weeks to 1 month.
Thousands of dumplings, buuz and other delicacies made from scratch over the Lunar New Year celebration. It is time for families to visit each other, pay their respects, especially to the older generations while exchanging gifts.
On the day of Bituun – the Eve of Tsagaan Sar, family members gather at the home of the eldest member, share traditional dishes and beverages, and play ancient games while sharing stories.
On the morning of the first day of Tsagaan Sar, Mongolians wake up early before sunrise to make milk tea and offer the first cup to the earth and sky. As soon as the sun rises, family members visit their elders greet them by supporting the elders’ elbows in their hands, a gesture through which Mongolians express their respect t to each other. Everyone then shares traditional Mongolian food and offers goodwill to each other. Mongolians feel a cultural and spiritual bond with each other through these rituals. This is the value of Tsagaan Sar.