BITUUN (TSAGAAN SAR EVE)
The last of the winter season is celebrated by Mongolians from the very old times and this celebration is called Bituuleg derived from the verb Bituulekh, which means celebration of the last day of the month by the lunar calendar a day of dark moon. This day should be spent with celebrations with special rituals by every household. Moreover, people believe that every misunderstanding or outstanding debt should be figured out and paid back. Before the Bituun every household dusts the home, cleans every corner and conducts the offering rituals for the gods. At the evening of Bituun father places ice on the upper side of the entrance door to invite the good spirits, while placing weed and thorns on the upper left side of the entrance door to shoo away the bad spirits. After this ritual every family member changes into new garments, give offerings to spirit of fire and gods and then celebrate the night.
Why ice is put on the entrance during Bituun?
Mongolians believe that good spirits are always protecting them from the bad spirits and during the big celebrations have tradition to please the spirits with offerings. One of the greatest offerings is the ice put on the upper right side of the entrance, as the ice is believed to be offered for the horse of the good spirit and white grain is put for the spirit. As the spirit travels the world with great speed Mongolians try to put the offerings before the sunset to make sure that good spirit is pleased with offerings.
Feast at Bituun
Bituun feast is prepared with closed cook an intact sheep's head with the chin-bone and tongue still in place, make offerings to the God as a sacrifice and break open a marrow-bone. This is called "Bituurekh". In Bituun one needs "to eat to repletion" or to have enough food. This symbolizes plenty of food and full belly in the coming New Year. In Bituun households place on the food-table a sheep's carcass and cow breastbone. The carcass tail is to be decorated by butter extracted from milk by churning or from cream by heating and its leftovers. Other pieces of meat need to be arranged according to the practiced rules. The neighbors exchange Bituun food.
Things to avoid on the Bituun day
1. As this day is the very last day of the year people avoid to wander around going from ger to ger (traditional felt dwelling of the Mongols) and spend night at someone else’s home, believing that soul will wander the whole next year. Fathers or household head should stay at home so that all the good blessings stay at household.
2. Beating or getting the dogs whining. It is believed that dogs should be fed and treated nicely, otherwise the whole next year bad things will happen
3. To walk out with full mouth and spill dirty water on the ground. It is believed that bas spirits will lick the mouth and bring bad health.
4. To leave the house dark, leave the outer garment outside and call the babies by their names. It is believed that bad spirits will do harm.
5. To stay hungry on Bituun evening. It is believed that staying hungry on this day will prophet hunger for the whole state so that every one makes sure that one has eaten.
6. To talk to each other loudly from inside and outside ger, otherwise the whole year the household will be experiencing disputes.
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