Holidays in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Journal Entry:

Since the holiday season is coming up in America, I want to discuss some Mongolian holidays and the new perspectives they present. Just two days ago, there was a national holiday here in Mongolia. Everyone got to take a break from school and work to celebrate Chinggis Khan’s birthday. Chinggis Khan was the most powerful emperor of the Mongolian Empire. “Khan” actually means “king,” and sometimes you see the emperor’s name spelled as “Genghis.” Chinggis Khan was the leader of Mongolia from 1162 to 1227, and he did not come from a privileged background. He actually grew up in a very difficult and cold part of Mongolia. His father was also murdered when Chinggis was very young, so he had to assume a lot of responsibility for his family at a young age. Throughout his life, Chinggis conquered many far away lands--places as far as Poland, Vietnam and Korea. Since Chinggis Khan was such a great ruler, he is still celebrated by Mongolians today.

In Mongolia, holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are not celebrated. Thanksgiving is only an American holiday, so it makes sense that it is not celebrated in Mongolia. However, I will still celebrate Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks with my American friends here in Mongolia. There is an upcoming holiday in Mongolia named Shine Jil, and it is a bit like Christmas.