Mongolia Festival & Events

Ritual of celebrating the Eve of Lunar New year

Snuffing bottle

Ritual of celebrating the Eve of Lunar New year

The Lunar New year is one of the biggest celebrities in Mongolia. The last day of the winter season is celebrated by Mongolians from the very old times and this celebration is called Bituulekh, which means celebration of the last day of the winter month by the lunar calendar a day of dark moon.  There is a delicate procedure for celebrating the Lunar new year. This day should be spent by each family with celebrations with special rituals. In addition, people believe that any misunderstanding or outstanding debt should be found out and repaid.

In front of Bituun, all families dusted the house, cleaned every corner and performed sacrifice rituals for the deities. On Bituun night, while sunset, the father puts 3 part of ice or white stones on the front door to invite the good vibes, while placing weeds and thorns on the upper left side of the front door to ward off evil spirits. Then they put on their new clothes and give offerings to their deity of fire. Afterwards, all celebrate the Bituun together.

Women prepare food and traditional meals with custom, including the Sheep’s carcass (uuts), or Cow breastbone (Ovchuu) traditional pastries (ul boov) built into ceremonial food set (tavgiin idee) and rice cooked with butter, sugar and raisins (berees), while men catch and groom their horses. When women decorating the table, they should put the meals in the correct way because people believe that next year will be great as how the table and meal looks. Meat and its plate should be place on the right site and ceremonial food set should be on the left site. When celebrity dinner is ready, mother of the family should pour the first cup of tea for her husband.

On this day, we Mongolians never do those things.

  1. As this day is the very last day of the year people avoid to wander around going from ger to ger and spend night at someone else’s home. People believe that soul will wander the whole next year. Fathers or household head should stay at home so that all the good blessings stay at household.
  2. Beating or getting the dogs whining. It is believed that dogs should be fed and treated nicely, otherwise the whole next year bad things will happen
  3. To walk out with full mouth and spill dirty water on the ground. It is believed that bas spirits will lick the mouth and bring bad health.
  4. To leave the house dark, leave the outer garment outside and call the babies by their names. It is believed that bad spirits will do harm.
  5. To stay hungry on Bituun evening. It is believed that staying hungry on this day will prophet hunger for the whole state so that everyone makes sure that one has eaten.
  6. To talk to each other loudly from inside and outside ger, otherwise the whole year the household will be experiencing disputes.