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16th of January 2018

Mongolia



This is how we celebrate New Year in Mongolia

New Year’s Day is a family holiday for many Mongolians and is being celebrated widely. Dinner usually starts late on December 31. Traditional meals include salad, buuz (type of Mongolian steamed dumpling filled with meat), cake and sparkling wine. The president addresses the nation with a short speech on TV, listing the achievements of the passing year, at 11.55pm. Once he finishes, people raise toasts, fireworks burst into the air and the New Year officially begins.

If you're in Ulaanbaatar, you can head to Sukhbaatar Square to experience the most popular public New Year celebrations. City Governor`s Office annually organizes New Year celebration at the Sukhbaatar square, including performances and fireworks.

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Recently, younger generation tends to celebrate New Year at night clubs, which offer events and packages for New Year Celebration.

Celebrations for children include a decorated tree and Grandfather Frost, the Mongolian equivalent of Santa Claus, who delivers presents. Grandfather Frost often comes with his granddaughter, Snow Maiden. As things quieten down later in the day, many people visit their friends or relatives.

Interestingly, Jan 1 is the non-working public holiday in Mongolia.

On December 29th, Mongolia commemorates its Restoration of National Freedom and Independence. Therefore, the Government approved this day as a public holiday every year. 

Moreover, Dec 30th is announced as a non-working day. Therefore, residents will be on holiday starting Dec 29th, 2016 to Jan 1st, 2017. However working day of Dec 30th, 2016 moves to the next Saturday (Jan 7, 2017).

1. NEW YEAR TREE DECORATED WITH MONEY

Most of Mongolians consider that New Year tree is decorated for children. Parents decorate and buy New Year tree in order to make their children happy.

Also, people who visit the family during New Year put some money on the tree in order to gift the child of the family. It has become the tradition already. Moreover, the money on the tree is spent by the children mostly. For example, if the family has two children, the money will be shared by two. New Year tree has become the symbol of wealth and prosperity in the world. However, on the other hand, New Year tree has become the best way to earn money for children. If you see New Year tree decorated with money in Mongolia, do not be surprised anymore! 

2. BE AWAKE FOR CHAMPAGNE UNTIL 12AM ON DEC 31ST

Almost every Mongolian is awake until 12am on Dec 31st to open champagne and to toast. It has become the tradition to wait for the speech of the President and toast together as a family for the coming new year and wish each other all the best.

President Ts.Elbegdorj initiated to toast with a bowl of milk instead of a champaigne or vodka, appealing Mongolians to celebrate the holiday alcohol-free. 

3. MONGOLIAN SANTA CLAUS AND SNOW MAIDEN IS ORIGINALLY FROM RUSSIA

Technically, Mongolians celebrate New Year like Russians. In Russia and Mongolia, Santa Claus is known as Father Frost and is called as "Uvliin uvgun" in Mongolia. He is usually illustrated with his granddaughter, the snow maiden. Usually appearing as a tall, thin man with a long white beard, he often wears flowing robe of blue and white. The Snow Maiden was said to assist Father Frost in the delivery of his gifts to the children. 

Today, Father Frost and Snow Maiden make appearances at children's parties during the New Year season, distributing presents. 

4. SEE FIREWORKS AT SUKHBAATAR SQUARE

​No one goes to bed on New Years Eve, even the children stay up until the early hours of the morning. It is essential to watch the fireworks on New Years night, which is accompanied with lots of celebrations.

You do not have to gather at Chinggis Square to see the fireworks. You can see it from your home, if you live in the tallest building where you can see the entire skyline of UB. 

5. GIVING PRESENTS TO CHILDREN

As we mentioned before, Mongolians attach great importance to the children during the New Year celebration. It has been a tradition to Mongolians to give presents to children. Also companies give presents to the children of their employees. 

Lately groups, friends or individuals give presents to children of poor families. 

​Here we deilver you the general background of New Year Celebrations in UB. Also you can feel free to share your experience of New Year celebration in UB. 

Finally, Mongolians welcome the New Year by saying SHINE JILIIN MEND HURGEY. 

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