Mongolian religious history

Mongolia is a country of a unique symbiosis of various religions. Mongolians traditionally having professed polytheistic religion remain remarkably tolerant in regards to one’s faith and beliefs. Democratic principle of freedom of religion has always been ensured and guaranteed by the lifestyle traditions and mentality of people living in Mongolia. Shamanism is indigenous religion of Mongols. From time immemorial it has been practiced in Mongolia. Shamanism embraces a belief in powerful spirits who can influence people’s lives and fate. Today shamanism is on the blink of ceasing to exist with only few superficial rituals being practiced in some out of the away places. Buddhism of Mongolia Lamaism has many followers in today’s Mongolia. According to chronicles, Buddhism came to Mongolia round the 3rd century B.C as religion of the court. Between 6-11 centuries, many Buddhism sutras were translated into Mongolian and in the 13th century the very first Buddhist temples were built. Chinggis Khan encouraged Buddhism and Islamic devotions. Khubilai khan is alleged to have first confirmed a title of Dalai Lama from upon a Lama from Tibet. (Dalai Lama in Mongolian means a monk of immeasurable knowledge) The first Dalai Lama converted Mongolian King Altan Khan and his subjects to Buddhism in 1578. During the rule of Altai Khan the famous monastery of ErdeneZuu was built, which is now a popular tourist destination. In the Western part of Mongolia, Islam is professed by the Kazakhs. Today various forms of Christianity are being introduced by Western missionaries.

How to greet in Mongolia

When a visitor spots or approaches a ger he says “Nokhoi khorioroi” which literally means “call off the dog”. A hostess or a child usually comes out and invites the guest into a Ger.  The visitor should not carry a whip, hobble or weapon when he comes in and he hangs his knife from the belt.  The visitor normally does not knock on the door. He crosses the threshold with the right foot. A guest greets inside, not outside. In Mongolia, the younger usually greets first and asks “Ta sain baina uu” which means “how are you” “how do you do”. Mongols living in the countryside are not used to shaking hands with visitors: instead, they greet by stretching their arms if they see each other for the first time in the year.

Mongolian New Year (Tsagaan sar)

Mongolian Lunar 🌙 New Year, Tsagaan sar is one of the two main celebrations of Mongolia 🇲🇳 (other one Naadam Festival). It is nomads celebration for successfully surpassing the harsh cold winter months ❄️ and finally greeting the warm spring 🌱 . Families living in remote areas visit their elderly relatives and celebrate the beginning of spring. All kinds of delicious food 🍲🥘🥙 are prepared and the feast can continue for few days. It is a national celebration that brings together families and relatives together.

Short History of Great Chinggis Khan

Mongol leader Chinggis Khan (1162-1227) rose from humble beginnings to establish the largest land empire in history. After uniting the nomadic tribes of the Mongolian plateau, he conquered huge chunks of central Asia and China. His descendants expanded the empire even further, advancing to such far-off places as Poland, Vietnam, Syria and Korea. At their peak, the Mongols controlled between 11 and 12 million contiguous square miles, an area about the size of Africa. Many people were slaughtered in the course of Chinggis Khan’s invasions, but he also granted religious freedom to his subjects, abolished torture, encouraged trade and created the first international postal system. Chinggis Khan died in 1227. His final resting place remains unknown.

Horse racing

When you get a chance to visit Mongolia in the middle of July, you should definitely stay and enjoy the Naadam Festival. You will see the four main games (wrestling, archery, horse racing, and ankle bone shooting) during this period. Here is a short description about Horse Racing.
Horse racing is considered as one of the main games of Naadam festival. It is also organized during the ceremonies like traditional weddings, birthday of an elderly, anniversary of aand religious observances and so on. And racing distance depends on horses age, it’s arranged by under the 5 different distances.
Daaga (2 years old) – 10 -12km
Shudlen (3 years old) – 14 – 16km
Khyzaalan (4 years old) – 18 – 20km
Soyolon (5 years old) – 22 – 25km
Ikh nas (6 years old) – 25 – 30km
Ambler (no age limit) – 15km
#khantravel #khantravelmongolia #mongolia #horseracing

Air-dried meat (Borts)

Borts is dried meat (usually of beef, goat or sheep) similar to jerkey. Mongolian nomadic lifestyle and the extreme climatic conditions gave rise to specific methods of preserving meat. The fresh meat is cut into long strips, 2-4 cm thick and 15-30 cm long. The strips are hung on strings in shaded parts of the yurt or in the barn, where the air is free to circulate. After a month or two, the fresh meat turns into dry, hard sticks of brown color, borts. Compared to fresh meat, borts is 4 times lighter, convenient to store upto 3years and still preserves all of its nutritional values, therefore perfect for our nomadic lifestyle

Notes when you visit the monasteries and temples in Mongolia.

There are 136 Buddhist monasteries and temples in Mongolia. You will probably see at least few of them during your visit. It doesn’t matter if you are Christian, Catholic or Muslim, when you visit Buddhist temples and monasteries you should take off your hat and step over the threshold (not step on it) with right leg. It means the visitor is showing respects and mindfulness. Also, avoid speaking loudly and touching deities sculptures. Furthermore I’d like to remind you do dress appropriately, do not wear short skirts, shorts and backless clothes. #khantravelmongolia #khantravel

Largest religious library in Mongolia

Gandantegchinlen library is one of the biggest library in Mongolia. It was created in 1925 and is located next to Gandantegchinlen Monastery. The library contains around 50.000 rare books including Derge Bariin Ganjuur, Danjuur, and sutras written by the Dalai Lama and Bogd Zonkhov from beginning of 19th century. Furthermore, the library contains collections of sutras made by 9 precious rocks such as blue spar, nacre, turquoise, copper, steel, silver, coral, gold and pearl.

Mongolian Language

Mongolian language is one of oldest languages in the world. During the great conquest Mongolian language was near to Lingua Franca. There are some hypothesis that, Altaic languages such as Mongolian, Turkish and Tunisian are not relative languages, but mutually reflected and interaction and Mongolian language is independent language. So, researches classifying Mongolian language into few sub-classes.

  1. Mongolian language for Mongols from Mongolian republic and Mongols from China’s Inner Mongolia.

2 – 3. Languages for Buriats and Kalmyk’s from Russia

4 – 8. Language for Uighurs, mongors and buukhans from China and mogols from Afghanistan.

It is wrong idea, where language substituted by dialects, in dependence from political and administration division. In the reality, only on Mongolian language. The Mongolian script has a great role in the formation and development of Mongolian language. This script had preserved a common literature language, because was formed for adequate service to all of dialects. Unfortunately, Russian Bolsheviks had attached to this common literary language. They had prohibited Kalmyk’s Buriats and Tuvas from 1927 to 1931 to use Mongolian language as a literary language. In 1944, Soviet Union had exported ultimatum like new script, based on krill script and Mongolian language. Development had oriented a wrong direction. During the <<Cultural Revolution>> inner Mongols had reaction by Chinese <<red defenders>> in language.

There are many precious historical, religion and literary creations was wrote with thousand year old Mongolian language and many of them preserved to our generation.

Snuff-Bottle

Use of rock snuff-bottle in Mongolian is nascent from Chin Empire.
During 16th – 19th century snuff has been spread rapidly in central Asian region.
Therefore it has become abundant and culturally symbolic item in Mongolia from 17th century. To make snuff bottles,hand craftsmen use many different types of rocks such as coral, chalcedony and spotted chalcedony etc.