While Tsagaan Sar or Mongolian Lunar new year is a nationally celebrated holiday in Mongolia, you wouldn’t want to miss its delicacy. Since the name of the festival itself indicates the white, symbolizing purification and whitening what’s been dark, the food and beverage of the festival are intended to be white in color. The traditional dairy products have huge part in the feast.
Milk tea is the most common beverage throughout the country and consumed during the day and night, summer and winter. Milk tea will be the first thing offered wherever you visit a Mongolian family. Since nothing beats milk tea in order, Tsagaan Sar feast starts with hot Milk Tea often in a silver bowl.
Berees is possibly the second dish that can be offered by the host during the celebration. Steamed rice with raisin and sugar combined in yellow butter sounds slavering.
The middle of the feast table is a place for a set of long thick pastries piled in odd numbers and decorated with dairies and sweets. The main pastry is called Ul Boov (Sole Cake) according to its sole-like shape. An important thing is Sole Cakes must be layered in odd numbers, meaning the life circle goes though happiness and suffering. The first layer symbolizes happiness and when it turns suffering and happiness one after another, it always ends at happiness. Also, depending on the age of men and how many children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren they have, the number is determined. For example, a man over 80 years old can stack seven layers upwards.
Guests don’t touch the Idee before having from other stuff such as Berees or any white food that offered, meaning you are purifying yourself and have no harm to the host.
The most common beverage after the milk tea is Tsagaalga. This beverage is made of curd, flour, milk, yellow cream, steamed rice, and sugar optionally. The Tsagaalga is served in a bowl and received by both hands. Consuming at least three bowls of Tsagaalga is believed to be an indication of wealth in the upcoming year.
The most common beverage after the milk tea, of course, is Tsagaalga. This beverage made of curd, flour, milk, yellow cream, steamed rice, and sugar optionally. The Tsagaalga is served in a bowl and received by both hands. Consuming at least three bowls of Tsagaalga is believed to be an indication of wealth in the upcoming year.
Bansh or Steamed Dumpling
Steamed dumplings are the closing meal of the feast, followed by vodka. Dumplings are prepared and frozen in advance of the celebration and served at the end of your visit.