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The best Holiday of our okrug

Gunsunova Nataljya - a pupil of the 11th grade,
Aginsk secondary school№2, Ayusheyeva Olga Andreyevna –
a teacher of English

In fact Aginsk Buryat Area is believed to be one of the cultural centres of our region. The cultural life of my okrug is many-sided and rich . The main holiday of the Buryat people is Sagaalgan or the holiday of the White Moon. The white colour symbolizes happiness and richness. It is celebrated on the first days of February on the eve of the lunar New Year. It is truly a family holiday. It is customary to wish a Happy New Year to close and distant relatives and give presents. The value of the present is of no importance. People wish each other the white thoughts of wealth and success. The ceremony of congratulating the old people begins with presenting Khadaks (a blue scarf made of soft silk) and white milk products. They are the signs of respect and friendship. At the datsans lamas dressed in traditional coats pray together for well- being and happiness of every person all over the world. People visit datsans to receive prosperity, good health and longevity for their children. One of the Sagaalgan customs symbolizes releasing from sin, diseases and misfortune, it is the release fire, in which all the problems are burned to ashes. It is a symbol with the deepest meaning.
People begin to cook food in abundance several days before the New Years’ Day, bearing in mind that any person may drop in. According to the rules of hospitality, everyone is welcome. The main dish at the feast is a whole boiled sheep’s rump. A sheep’s head and legs are also placed on the table. The host cuts the rump slightly first, then carves the meat and passes the pieces to the guests. Besides white food, pozy ( a national meat dish), milk vodka are also served. So, the ancient Aga fully keeps its morals, customs and traditions.

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