Repository logo

Galina Goryaeva, Tsagan Sar



Change log


Terbish, Baasanjav 
Churyumova, Elvira 


Galina talks about bortsg and traditions that people follow during Tsagan Sar. This is her story: In the past, people prepared for Tsagan Sar beforehand by tidying up their homes. 9 varieties of bortsg biscuits had to be made, including, tselvg (it is made in the shape of the sun so that the sun always shines on people), khuts (made in the shape of a ram. A legend says that once upon a time evil forces fought with gods for global dominance. During the war, the teachings of the evil got carried out by the wind ending up in the stomach of sheep. Bortsg biscuits are made in the form of a ram as a gratitude to these species), togsh (resembles a cattle pen. This biscuit symbolizes an abundance in livestock), kit (resembles horse intestines. It symbolizes an increase in the number of horses one has), shovgr (symbolizes one’s readiness to defend one’s family/clan from enemies), tselvg (this biscuit is given to the elderly), zhola (is given to young people), khorkha (is given to children). During Tsagan Sar people hang their old clothes up in order to freshen them, or wear new clothes. Early in the morning people also make Kalmyk tea, cook meat, and invite their relatives and old people who utter well wishes. The head of the household sprinkles tea for Okn Tengri and Buddha Shakyamuni from inside his house while having his right leg placed forward outside of the house. Guests come with bortsg biscuits. People are expected to give their daughter’s children money or sheep’s legs. Before Tsagan Sar people go to the temple. There is a folk belief that it is during Tsagan Sar that ground squirrels wake from hibernation.



Tsagan Sar, biscuits, tradition

Is Part Of


Publisher DOI

Publisher URL

Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.