Tsagaan Sar

DAY 1 DEPARTURE FROM EUROPE /FEBRUARY 09

DAY 2 ULAANBAATAR /FEBRUARY 10

Today is BITUUN’S DAY - The last day of the finishing year
Arrival in Ulaanbaatar. Transfer to 3-star Hotel. Relax until lunch time.
We invite for a small lecture that will introduce with tradition and custom of Mongolians, particular during Tsagaan Sar even as there are many things that clients should understand and follow. After this, drive out of town to visit nomadic family and see the preparation of Tsagaan Sar, the lunar new year.  The last day of the old year Mongolian people widely celebrate the “Bituun” – Lunar New Year Eve, all members of families are gathered around richly served table and have dinner together. You will visit nomad family and celebrate the “Bituun” with them. Then you will be invited to play traditional game called “Shagai” by ankle bones of animals. Stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 3 LUNAR NEW YEAR /FEBRUARY 11
First month of the Lunar New Year called as Tsagaan Sar by Mongols. It celebrated as nation-wide holiday as a greeting of the end of severe winter and beginning of spring time, when nature and people awaken and are inspired for new life and deeds.

On “Shiniin Negen”, the first day of Lunar New Year, join the family and experience many of the meaningful traditional culture and customs. Start a new day with morning sun rise and have new energy at fresh air. This day everybody wears their best clothes and goes to visit the oldest person in the family, a group of families to get him or her give respect and wish the best. The first greeting of the year is expressed through very specific ritual gestures and mutual salutations. Under this ritual, called Zolgokh, the oldest person places, his or her arms out straight, with the palms turned down, on the outstretched arms of the youngest person, and both pronounce traditional formulae of good wishes while gently touching cheeks. This gesture indicates that the elder can count on the support and respect of the younger. Celebrate the New Year with nomads and be offered to drink Mongolian tea-“Suutei tsai”, eat steamed dumpling-“Buuz”, and other main dishes prepared for the celebration.

Stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 4 THE PRAYING DAY /FEBRUARY 12
Visit Gandan monastery- the main Buddhist center of Mongolia. This day Mongolian people visit the monastery to pray for the luck and success for the starting new year. This is perfect opportunity to watch Mongolians in their traditional costume “Deel”.

In the afternoon, go to wrestling palace and enjoy traditional sport. Stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 5 TERELJ NATIONAL PARK /FEBRUARY 13
Go to Tsagaan Sar horse racing. After lunch drive to Terelj National park (65km) and visit Turtle Rock. Stay overnight at the ger camp.

DAY 6 EAGLE FESTIVAL/ FEBRUARY 14

Drive to Eagle Festival. The opening ceremony commences, as the participants join the parade on horse ride with their eagles. Then festival begins with each Kazakh displaying his hunting outfit and accessories. The Golden eagles will be released from a cliff and their owner will stand below and signal for them to land upon their arm, as they do during hunting. Then eagles will be released from a cliff to attack fox skins that will be dragged by their owner on horseback. Drive back to Ulaanbaatar. Stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 7 – 8 CAMEL FESTIVAL/FEBRUARY 15/16
Early morning flight to South Gobi. Transfer to the camp. Camel Festival Days! This event will be organized by “Tumen Temee” (“Ten Thousand Camels”) – association in order to protect two humped Bactrian camels and reproduce camel herders, to increase their productivity, to increase herder’s income by tourism. Enjoy authentic festival program including, camels racing, children’s concert, camel wool product exhibition, camel polo, parade on camels and nice couple competition. Enjoy relay competition with camel. An entertaining competition which shows camel training methods and customs of “Heroes of great Gobi” people, overcomes severe climate and harsh condition of Gobi by their effort and endurance. Teams each having 5 members participate in it and show many methods and techniques of catching camel with lasso, tying and bringing down, putting wooden peg into camel’s nose and loading camel. Short excursion to the Flaming Cliffs and Hongor Sand Dunes. Optional camel riding is available. Stay overnights at the camp.

DAY 9 ULAANBAATAR /FEBRUARY 17

Flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Relax in hotel and have free time for the personal explorations. Stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 10 /FEBRUARY 18

Full day city tour with National History Museum and Sukhbaatar Square. After lunch visit Fine Art museum. Shopping opportunity. Farewell dinner. Stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 11 /FEBRUARY 19

Transfer and departure