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Tsagaan Sar - The Lunar New Year 

Tsagaan Sar is the name (literally White Moon, or White Month) that Mongolians give their New Days Day. Doug spends it in the countryside, and herewith follows an edited version of his newsletter to his family and friends:

"Saikhan Shinlarai" to all of my family and friends.

Amongst a heap of other traditional greetings and actions, that means Happy New Year ­ more or less. The Mongolian New Year’s Day was yesterday (13th), and like any country there are a few extra days tacked on, so today is a holiday as well. It more or less coincides with Chinese New Year. A day different this year.

As usual, I went to the countryside to visit a family with whom I have grown very close. It is about 100kms from Ulaanbaatar. He is a retired Doctor and lives in the traditional manner in a little ger (tent). A few sheep and cows etc. Most of you would have seen me write about them before. I love going there at the best of times. But especially at this time, as Tsagaan Sar in the city means visiting or being visited by dozens of families and is one heck of a rat race. Traditional but with a commercial edge. So I go and participate in the real thing. And they are real people in the best sense.

Let me describe it ...

 

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