The word “Sagaalgan” is translated as “White Month” from the Buryat language and is associated with coming spring.
Sagaalgan is a New Year by Lunar Calendar. Almost every family in Buryatia irrespective of the faith and nationality celebrates the holiday. During the Sagaalgan different kinds of entertainment such as concerts, shows, musical festivals are held, one of them is the international youth musical competition “White Month”.
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.
There is the ritual fire on the area of Ivolginsky Datsan — “Dugzhuuba”. People must throw pieces of the old clothes into the fire to burn their sins.
Sagaalgan was resumed as a public holiday in 1990. Since then the first day of the New Year according to the lunar calendar is a day off in the Buryat Republic.
Venues: Different locations around the Buryat Republic
Event cost: Free