Raisa Bevelikova, About Tsagan Sar and Ur Sar
Raisa talks about the meaning of Tsagan Sar and how people celebrate it. Tsagan Sar is the holiday of spring when nomads make preparations for the coming livestock breeding season. Ur Sar, by contrast, is the holiday when nomads can see the results of their labour. This is Raisa’s story: Tsagan Sar means the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is the day of the goddess Okn Tengri. During this holiday people should pray both to Okn Tengri and Buddha Shakyamuni. People greet each other by saying, ‘Did you pass the winter well?’ and utter well wishes about growing livestock and grass. Okn Tengri is a powerful goddess. She is the protector of humans from a monster. During this holiday people make bortsg biscuits in the shape of various animals. Kalmyks should not consume pork fat, pork, chicken or fish during this time. If a rainbow appears in the sky, people say that it is the ancestors who water the livestock. Traditionally, Tsagan Sar is celebrated for a month during which people pay a visit to their relatives. People also abstain from quarrelling with each other. Ur Sar is the holiday of summer. During this holiday people already see the results of their labour: grown-up livestock. People pray for rain.