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Art & Culture

Mongolian weather

Mongolia has 4 different seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. Average summer temperature +20C, average winter temperature -23C, average rainfall 200-22-mm per annum, the sun shines for over 200 days a year. Winter lasts from November to late February, Spring from March to May, and summer from June to September. 

When you are traveling to Mongolia, you can check the weather from the following link: http://www.tsag-agaar.gov.mn/eng

Getting to Mongolia

Wherever you are traveling from you will land in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. There are several ways to connect flight to Mongolia from Beijing, Seoul, Moscow, Berlin, Hong kong, Tokyo etc…

Followings are airlines, which have daily flights to Mongolia.

MIAT – Mongolian Airlines: http://www.miat.com

Aeroflot: http://wwww.aeroflot.ru/templates/index_en/

Air China: http://www.airchina.mn/en/index.html

Korean Air: http://www.koreanair.com/

Aero Mongolia: http://www.aeromongolia.mn

Moreover, visitors have access through trans Siberian railway from Russia and China.

Art & Culture

Morin Khuur-Traditional Mongolian musical instrument

Morin khuur, a two-stringed fiddle figures promi­nently in the nomadic culture of Mongolia. String in­struments adorned with horse heads are referred to by written sources dating back from the Mongol empire of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The fiddle’s significance extends beyond its function as a musical instrument, for it was traditionally an integral part of the rituals and everyday activities of the Mongolian nomads.

The instrument’s hollow trapezoid-shaped body is attached to a long fretless neck bearing a carved horse head at its extremity. Just below the head, two tuning pegs jut out like ears from either side of the neck. The soundboard is covered with animal skin, and the strings and bow are made of horsehair. The instrument’s char­acteristic sound is produced by sliding or stroking the bow against the two strings. Common techniques in­clude multiple stroking by the right hand and a variety of left-hand fingering. It is mainly played in solo fashion but sometimes accompanies dances, long songs (urtiin duu), mythical tales, ceremonies and everyday tasks re­lated to horses. To this day, the morin khuur repertoire has retained some tunes (tatlaga) specifically intend­ed to tame animals. Owing to the simultaneous pres­ence of a main tone and overtones, morin khuur music has always been difficult to transcribe using standard notation. It has been transmitted orally from master to apprentice for many generations.

(Mongolia magazine. MNET, 2016)

 

Mongolian songs

The Urtiin duu or “long song” is one of the two ma­jor forms of Mongolian singing. The other one is called Bogino duu or “short song”. Urtiin duu as a ritual form of expression associated with important celebrations and festivities holds a special place in the Mongolian society. It is performed at weddings, house warming, celebration of a child’s birth, branding of foals and other social events woven into the life of a herder. Urtiin duu can also be heard at the Naadam, annual celebration of the indepen­dence of Mongolia where the “Three manly sports” fea­turing wrestling, archery and horseracing take place.

Mongolian khuumii _ throat singing

Mongolian khuumii or throat singing has 4ranges. During singing two simultaneous tones, a high and a low one are produced with the vocal cords. It is a rare skill that requires special ways of breathing. Khumii is considered as an art form and not exactly a singing but using one’s throat as an instrument.

(Mongolia magazine. MNET, 2016)

Mongolian language

Mongolian language belongs to the Altaic group of languages with connections to Turkish and Korean. There are many dialects in Mongolia but the Khalkha is the official one. The traditional Mongolian script is called Uigurjin transcript origin that is written vertically. From 1921 Mongolians were using Latin script until we adopted Cyrillic in 1945 due to the Russian influence. Since 1990, the traditional script reemerged and is taught in school, but nowadyas Cyrillic is official transcript in this country.

(Mongolia magazine. MNET, 2016)

Deel - traditional Mongolian clothing

Deel, the traditional Mongolian clothing has an easy one-piece cut that resembles a robe tied at the waist. Besides wearing the deel, herders use it as a blanket. The winter deel is made with high collars and longs sleeves insulated with sheep wool. Once the deel is tied at the waist, the chest area is used as a pocket. Throughout the history the traditional deel served as an indication of a person’s social status in terms of fabric, design, and accessories. Every ethnic Mongolian group has their own clothing where deels have intricate and elaborate designs. Since 1990, the deel design has gone through a revival with the addition of many modern designs and fabrics. Deel is worn not only during holidays and celebrations but daily.

(Mongolia magazine. MNET, 2016)

Gutal- Mongolian shoes

The Mongolian shoes are long boots made of cow hide with lifted toes and intricate designs and seams. The lifted toes have both a religious and practical meaning. From the Buddhist viewpoint, the lifted toes allow the person to see where he is stepping in order not to harm all forms of life including the insects. From a practical standpoint, the boots with lifted toes allows the rider to have a good hold of stirrups.

(Mongolia magazine. MNET, 2016)

Mongolian Ger

A ger or “house, home” is referred as the White Pearl of the Steppe. It is not only practical in daily use but holds many meanings for Mongolians. The ger or yurt in a Turkish language, perfected to meet the demands of a nomad’s life, is a circular felt covered dwelling with lattice walls that can be erected and dismantled within an hour. The materials of the ger are lightweight that makes it easy for herders to transport the gers either on the back of a camel or on a horse-pulled cart. The gers are decorated with beautiful carved doors and pillars as well as handmade (woven and knitten) fabrics. The two pillars that hold the toono (roof in a shape of a round opening) symbolize the man and the woman of the household, and walking between them is not approved of. A herder can easily tell you what time of the day it is according to how the light comes through roof. Due to winds mostly from North and Northwest, the doors of the gers always face South, useful to know when one is travelling in the countryside. Another useful tip for a traveler is not to step on the threshold as you enter the ger, for you would be seen as stepping on the neck of the head of the household!

The furniture inside a ger is arranged according to the years of the Lunar calendar in a clockwise direction. For example, the most honored place for the guest is khoimor opposite the door where the family keeps its treasures and khoimor location is in the year of the Rat, a symbol of abundance and richness. The door is located in the year of the Monkey because strangers and guests come through the door (monkey is an uncommon animal to Mongolia). From the religious standpoint, a ger resembles a white seashell, symbol of intelligence in Buddhism. Accommodation in a ger provides a perfect blend of comfort and authenticity.

Source:  Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism, (2012), Discover Mongolia magazine.

Mongolian History

Mongolian history reached its zenith in the 13th century when Genghis Khan collected the tribes of the steppes, names them Mongols, and with a nation of one million members and an army of only a hundred thousand horsemen, he conquered the most powerful civilization of the era and created the greatest empire in world history. Under the leadership of Genghis Khan and his descendants, the Mongols created the first truly modern empire. They sought to introduce a universal political and economic system with an international law, complete religious freedom, an international paper money system, and even a universal alphabet.

Mongolia is a treasure awaiting the arrival of travelers from around the world. Today once again people around the world are rediscovering the richness of Mongolian history and modern Mongolian culture.

a few fortunate travelers will have the opportunity to discover Mongolia for themselves, to ride where horses of Genghis Khan once trod, to walk iin the footsteps of dinosaurs, to sleep in gers where the Mongol army assembled, and to smell the eternally pure wind of the Mongolian steppe.

At first glance, the vast panoramic scenes of the Mongolian countryside may appear empty, but if the traveler bends over to look closely at the ground the whole history of the earth can be revealed in a single rock. It might be a piece of a wall built by the Huns, or part of a tool made by Turks, or maybe a piece of sediment from the ancient oceans that covered this land, or a fossilized piece of wood or even dinosaur bone from millions of years ago. In the twentieth century, Mongolia was land frozen in time and beyond the reach of tourists.

Today, the green steppes are again open to visitors from around the world.

Sourse: Weatherford, J.M. (2013). Visitor Guide Magazine, Mongolian National Tourism Center. Ulaanbaatar.