The word “Sagaalgan” is translated as “White Month” from the Buryat language and is associated with coming spring.
In the last decades many Buryats have moved into Irkutsk from the countryside. Buryat culture has made a real resurgence in the city.
Sagaalgan is a New Year by Lunar Calendar which is widely celebrated in the Buryat Republic and Irkutsk Oblast. During the Sagaalgan different kinds of entertainment such as concerts, shows, musical festivals are held.
It is the custom to see New Year in with white foods: milk, curds, sour cream, sheep cheese, etc. A common meal often includes ‘buuza’, a big meat dumpling with holes on top to let steam out while it’s being cooked.
Sagaalgan symbolizes the beginning of a new life and coming of spring. It takes a long time to prepare for the holiday. For a few days, temples hold public services to call for a fortunate new year. People clean their houses and prepare delicious New Year’s food.
Unlike the Buryat Republic, in Irkutsk Oblast Sagaalgan isn’t an official day off.
Venues: Different locations around Irkutsk and Irkutsk Oblast
Event cost: Free