Lunar New Year


Shagaa –  is one of the main national holidays of the Tuvans, the exact date of which changes every year, from the beginning of January til the end of February. Shagaa is the nationwide holiday, celebrated as a greeting of the end of severe winter and beginning of spring time, when nature and people awaken and are inspired for new life and deeds. The first day of Lunar New Year everybody wears its best Ton, traditional clothes and go to visit the oldest person in the family in order to give the respect and wish the best. Tuvans begin preparing early and heavily for this holiday, preparing vast amount of traditional Tuvan food, organizing their homes, getting rid of old things, as if saying goodbye to the past and banishing ill from the home. The new year comes not at midnight, but at the dawning of the day. For this reason, the Tuvans do not sleep all night, telling tales and playing traditional games. There are folk celebrations, word-games, visiting, and during the holiday time food is prepared for everyone who looks in. The traditions of Buddhism and Shamanism are combined in a surprising way in one holiday. Good deeds done during the holiday times are amplified 100 times, doing bad deeds and drinking alcohol are forbidden. Ancient beliefs and traditional rituals of the Tuvan people are united in this special night.