February 21–23, 2023
Mongolians celebrate Tsagaan Sar, the lunar new year, in January or February each year. In 2023, Mongolia will celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Black Rabbit.
Bituun, Tsagaan Sar Eve, is a day of preparation. The family cleans the ger (nomadic home) and makes sure that everything starts the new year full: piles of firewood, containers of flour, and, with the evening feast, everyone's stomachs.
On Shiniin Negen, the first day of Tsagaan Sar, families rise early to greet the year's first sunrise. People greet each other in a tradition called zolgolt, in which the younger person holds the older person's arms in a symbol of respect.
The Celebration Continues
After greeting family on Shiniin Negen, Mongolians visit friends and coworkers' families on the following days of Tsagaan Sar. The fifteenth day (the first full moon) of the lunar year is particularly auspicious.