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Customs and Traditions

Many nomadic and Buddhist customs descending from ancient times continue to exist in harmonious combination in Mongolian life.
Parents used to select the spouses for their children. But that tradition vanished in the 19th century. So it is now possible to say that marriages are based on love. There is no custom of polygamy. Weddings in urban areas, are usually celebrated in more universal ways. Weddings in rural areas traditionally take place in autumn. It not only because the 17th day of the middle month of the autumn by the lunar calendar is the most auspicious day of the year, but also because it is the time when airag and other dairy products are plentiful to be offered to the wedding guests. In some regions, an old custom of stealing a bride remains all but in name.

From ancient times it is believed that evil spirits tend to take away young boys more than girls, therefore in order to confuse the evil spirits in defense of their boys, Mongolians don’t cut the hair of the babies till they are three years old. Once three years old, the baby's hair is cut in a big celebraton.

Elders are most respected. During the Tsagaan Sar (White Month) holidays, the lunar new year, the eldest one of the family is greeted in his house and after that other elders are saluted by order of age. From a traditional point of view, Tsagaan Sar is the celebration of the end of a harsh winter. It is customary not to consume alcohol on Tsagaan Sar days, to pay respects to all elder people and give presents to everybody, particularly relatives.

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