Tsagaan Sar around the world in 2023

Tsagaan Sar around the world in 2023
Traditional Mongolian Gers.

  How long until Tsagaan Sar?
Tsagaan Sar
  Dates of Tsagaan Sar around the world
2024 MongoliaFeb 9, Feb 10, Feb 11, Feb 12
Mongolia Mon, Feb 12National Holiday (additional day)
Mongolia Sun, Feb 11National Holiday (additional day)
Mongolia Sat, Feb 10National Holiday
Mongolia Fri, Feb 9National Holiday (additional day)
2023 MongoliaFeb 20, Feb 21, Feb 22, Feb 23
Mongolia Thu, Feb 23National Holiday (additional day)
Mongolia Wed, Feb 22National Holiday (additional day)
Mongolia Tue, Feb 21National Holiday
Mongolia Mon, Feb 20National Holiday (additional day)
2022 MongoliaFeb 2, Feb 3, Feb 4
Mongolia Fri, Feb 4National Holiday (additional day)
Mongolia Thu, Feb 3National Holiday (additional day)
Mongolia Wed, Feb 2National Holiday
2021 MongoliaFeb 12, Feb 13, Feb 14
Mongolia Sun, Feb 14National Holiday (additional day)
Mongolia Sat, Feb 13National Holiday (additional day)
Mongolia Fri, Feb 12National Holiday
2020 MongoliaFeb 24, Feb 25, Feb 26
Mongolia Wed, Feb 26National Holiday (additional day)
Mongolia Tue, Feb 25National Holiday (additional day)
Mongolia Mon, Feb 24National Holiday

Mongol New Year is celebrated over the first three days of the lunar year

Related holidays

When is Tsagaan Sar?

Tsagaan Sar ('White Month') is a major public holiday in Mongolia.

This is Mongol New Year and is celebrated over the first three days of the lunar year, which begins at sunset on the day of the second New Moon following the winter solstice (21st December). 

Depending on the phases of the moon, the date falls between late January and early March in the Gregorian calendar.

Traditions of Tsagaan Sar

Similar to other Asian lunar calendars, the Mongol year has followed a lunar calendar with a 12-year animal cycle since ancient times.

The New Year symbolizes the coming of spring and the re-awakening of nature. The term 'White Month' is said to refer to dairy products such as milk, which become more plentiful again with the return of Spring.

Preparations for the festival will begin in the month before Tsgaan Sar, with plenty of dumplings made ahead of time and new clothes made or bought.

The festivities start on 'Bituun', the day before Tsagaan Sar, with a feast for all the family containing several traditional dishes.

In the morning, it is custom to rise early to greet the dawn of the new year. After the sun has risen, to ensure good health and happiness in the coming year, everyone must take "their first steps of the year". The direction of the steps everyone has to take depends on which lunar year you were born in. For instance, someone who was born in the mouse year must take their first steps to the north on the first day of the monkey year. To keep people literally on their toes, the following year the direction will be different.

Once the steps are taken, families will greet each other in a pre-ordained manner starting with the elder of the household.

Once the greetings are done, food and drink become the focus of the day. The most auspicious drink for the new year is milk tea, made earlier in the day by the women of the house.

During the first few days of the new year it is customary to visit family members - again this is done in an ordered way, with the custom being that the younger ones go to the older families.

As with Chinese New Year, even though the official public holidays last a few days, the New Year festivities continue until the 15th day and the first full moon of the year.

Like many other ethnic holidays and festivals, Tsagaan Sar was banned during Mongolia's Communist period. The holiday was practiced again following the Democratic Revolution in Mongolia in 1990.

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