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Nikolai Khatuev, about national holidays

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


Nikolai briefly talks about how Kalmyks celebrate Zul, Tsagan Sar and Urs Sar: Zul is the birthday of the lama Tsongkapa. During this holiday people light candles and celebrate the coming of a new year. Zul is when men collectively add a year to their age. In the evening people ignite boat-shaped candles on their domestic altars. The candlewicks are made from grass stalks that should match the age of the person to whom it is dedicated. After the wicks burn out, the candle, which is made from dough, is fried as a pancake. Tsagan Sar marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. People cook meat, make vodka, pay a visit to each other, sing and dance. The first portion of freshly fried bortsg biscuits are put on the altar. The rest is given to guests, children, or gets hung on the wall. People make a wide variety of biscuits. On the first day of Tsagan Sar my mother used to take all clothes out of the chest and hang them on a rope inside the house in order to air them. During Urs Sar, people do fasting and read prayers. During the whole month people abstain from slaughtering animals.



Tsagan Sar, Urs Sar, Zul

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Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

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