White Month

Passing the glass for a celebratory drink. Western Buryats observe White Month.

White Month (Sagaalgan), the most important holiday of the Buryat people is upon us! Together with the rest of the Asian world, the Buryats’ celebrate the lunar New Year, which kicks off White Month. White Month is celebrated by visiting family and friends, having guests over and eating white foods. White foods are milk based and include salamat, fried sour cream mixed with flour, cottage cheese, and aarsa which is a milk drink made from a fermented milk base cooked together with fresh milk. The results are a somewhat sour yet tasty beverage.

Why the emphasis on white you ask? Learn more about that in a later post. Until then, enjoy these photos from a celebration of Sagaalgan near Irkutsk put on by the Center for the Protection and Development of the Buryat Ethnos.

Shout! Buryat Dance troupe Ulaalzai doing their thing.

Meditative moment. Western Buryat woman.

Western Buryats serenade the gathered witnesses.

This young man is dipping his finger in his tea to drip some upon the ground as a sacrifice. Western Buryat.

The color and movement is enchanting. Buryat dance troupe Ulaalzai.

If you think Siberia is only cold, grey and icy, think again! Buryat dance.

Buryat maidens strike a pose for the local news crews.

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