Khadag

Mongolians greet each other holding a traditional ceremonial scarf called khadag on Tsagaan Sar, which is mostly white in color. Between the 13th and 15th centuries , lamb skin was used in greeting. Since the spread of Buddhism in Mongolia, greeting with a khadag became a tradition among aristocrats and monks, and later among the general public.

Mongolians have always respected and symbolized khadag, made of silk material and in the color of sky before dawn. There are 6 colors of khadag, these sacred scarves used as an offering
Blue: Tengri, divinity. White: milk, symbol of purity, Great Earth Mother; Yellow: the sun; Red: fire; Green: the earth, the steppe, at home; the color of inner peace.The last color is the least known and can not be offered; black khadags are an object of power used by lamas or shamans.

When greeting with khadag, one folds it three times and wraps it around his right ring finger three times, holding the open side of the khadag towards the other person. This gesture simply means respect.

On the other hand, if the khadag is simply put on his hand, this indicates offering. Mongolians mostly use khadag to greet family members like their parents and grandparents as well as teachers. There are five different colored khadags; yellow khadag is for monks, white and blue khadags for parents and respected people, red and green khadags are to be kept and used in spiritual ceremonies associated with water and earth. Mongolians keep their five khadags with a leather strap and vodka, symbolizing wealth.

 

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