Thursday, February 3, 2011
Happy Tsagaan Saar!
Today marks the first day of Tsagaan Saar, the three day Lunar New Year celebration and arguably the most important time in Mongolia.There is a whole lot that goes into it but basically the Tsagaan Saar traditions are visiting, hosting, well wishing, gift giving and eating way too much food. On the first day you visit the oldest and most respected people you know; the visits during the other two days, which spill into several more days, are kind of a free for all. The first day is supposed to start super early so this morning I lugged myself out of bed before the sun came up and went with Suzanne to visit her counterpart and her counterpart's parents. We did quite well, Suzanne and I, clocking in our first shot of vodka at 8:30am and our first buuz (ravioli-sized steamed mutton dumplings) at 9:45. Impressive, no? Thus far I am three ger visits in and am in sore need of a walk. The weather is warming a tiny bit which has been heavenly. So off I go to the river, a friend I've missed since the lung-choking pollution has put it's foot down on my morning runs, for a Thanksgiving-esque stroll. Hopefully that will help me digest and quiet the 'baah's coming from my stomach. So in mean time, happy Tsagaan Saar!