ГАОУ СПО «Байкальский базовый медицинский колледж МБ»,
The Main Holiday of the Year and Its Symbol That Inspires
The holiday and a horse, horses and arts…. Do parallels between such things have any sense? Let us view them in various ways and let you come to your own conclusion.
Like any other country in the world Buryatia has its own customs and traditions. Most people of Buryatia are proud of their customs and traditions and they carefully follow them. People celebrate different holidays here but the main one is Sagaalgan or the holiday of the White Moon which is usually celebrated in February, on the eve of the lunar New Year and indeed, is a national holiday. It has a long history and connects us with the past. The holiday includes everything: ritual ['rɪtʃǔəl] ceremonies, public religious services as well as family dinners and holiday concerts. The holiday of the White Moon is associated with everything that is white, clean, pure: clean and tidy houses, white food, pure thoughts, and the desire to change your life for better. Therefore, people begin to prepare beforehand. In addition to cleaning their houses, buying presents, cooking food most of them take part in one of the customs which symbolizes releasing from sin, diseases and misfortune. It is the releasing fire in which all problems are burnt to ashes so that one could be pure in thoughts and deeds again.
What is more, during the celebrations all people of the republic try to visit Datsan where Lamas dressed in colorful traditional coats pray together for well-being and happiness for every person in the world. Many students of our college, who live in the hostel and can’t go home for the holiday, try to get to the solemn ritual ceremony called “khural” that is held at night and lasts up to 6 a.m. Even frosty weather can’t prevent them from doing it.
There are a lot of other great things about the holiday such as: a very touching tradition of congratulating the old people which begins with presenting Khadak, greeting each other in a special manner, the way of eating the main dish of the holiday, a whole boiled sheep’s rump and many others not to mention the fact that the symbol of the year has a huge meaning too.
Owing to the eastern calendar the Year 2014 is considered to be the Year of the Horse which begins on January 31, 2014 and ends on February 18, 2015.
Where in this wide world can man find
Nobility without pride,
Friendship without envy,
Or beauty without vanity?
Here, where grace is served with muscle
And strength by gentleness confined
He serves without servility,
He has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.
There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.
When God created the horse…
Don’t the words of this poem perfectly reveal the atmosphere of the holiday and the spiritual beauty of the inner world of the native people of Buryatia? It is a fact that a number of poets, writers, artists and sculptors devoted their works to this wonderful animal, one of the favorite images (in the cult art he is represented as “knight of the wind” (Chi-Maureen), the main function of which was to promote the well-being of people and to protect them from all evils. A Spanish proverb “A horse is worth more than riches” and the following quotations like, “No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle” by Winston Churchell, “A horse is the projection of people’s dreams about themselves- strong, powerful, beautiful…” by Pam Brown also tell us much about horse.
It is symbolic that the opening of the 5-metre sculpture to a young Buryat on the horseback named “Youth of Buryatia” was held on the first day of Sagaalgan in 2011. The figure of a young man full of energy and power symbolizes the future prosperity of the Republic. This sculpture made of grey granite decorates one of the Ulan-Ude areas. But the first monument with the horse appeared in our capital in 2006. Geser, the hero of the Buryat epic, sits on the horse that proudly and firmly stands on its all four hooves. The monument is a hymn to love for the native land and willingness to fight for freedom of the people. The author of the both monuments is a local sculptor Alexandr Mironov who also created the impressive sculpture of three rabid horses named “Three Elements” which on the one hand represent three elements of nature: fire, water and air, and on the other hand symbolize the force and power of the republic’s development.
You can also see the image of a horse in the paintings of our Buryat artists. Don’t hesitate to visit the Sampilov Art Museum and admire one of his paintings “Lasso-man”. Think of the landscape and the action in the picture. The author created an energy- filled field. But the painting “Horses and Birds” by a talented young artist Zorictor Dorzhiev captures the feeling of heavenly peace. There is no other feeling like it. Though his horses are ready to awaken at any moment and it is hidden deep inside them. Do many young people know these pictures?
To find out young people’s attitude to Sagaalgan and its symbol in our area, we used a questionnaire. On the basis of our surveys (48 young people who are aged between 15 and 24 answered the questionnaire) the following results were obtained: 98% of young people celebrate Sagaalgan; 99 % know that the symbol of this year is a Blue Horse; 55% know the monuments mentioned above; and only 1% of respondents have been to the Art Museum and can name some of our Buryat artists. Do the results seem surprising to you? Why are we so far from the art which can reflect the true value of the holiday?
I truly think everybody should learn customs and traditions of his small Motherland. As a person you become more well -rounded and gain a better appreciation of your country. As for our students we tried to draw our own greeting cards for this holiday and give them to our Mongolian instructor and the best students of the college. As in Chinese astrology, Horse Year is considered a fortunate year that brings luck and good things we wish all citizens of our Republic to be healthy, happy, creative, optimistic and a bit more enthusiastic about art.
1 Zorikto Dorzhiev, alldayplus.ru›Дизайн›Культура›…-.html
2. Ronald Duncan, poem “THE HORSE” ( horseracinghistory.co.uk›hrho/jsp/education/)
3. Д.Ж. Мункожапова , “Buryatia”, Улан-Удэ, издательство «Бэлиг», 2002г.
4. Quotations about horses, quotegarden.com›horses.html ,
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