Monday, November 4, 2013

Mongolia | Ulaanbaatar | Chingis Khan’s Birthday

Today is the celebration of the 851st birthday of Chingis Khan. It is generally accepted that he was born in 1162, but there has been some question about the actual day of his birth. It has now been decided to celebrate his birthday on the first day of the first month of winter according to the lunar calendar, which this year is November 4, according to the Gregorian Calendar. (It should be mentioned that the actual New Moon was yesterday at 8:49 PM. November 4th is the first full day of the first month of winter.) Today is a national holiday and most offices and stores are closed. Don’t know if bars will be open or not, but if they are things could get rowdy by evening. I am spending the day in my hovel. 

I attended Chingis Khan’s 840th Birthday Bash at Khodoo Aral back in 2002. Oddly enough the First Blog Post I ever made was about this event.
Uyana, then a Ulaanbaatar resident, cooling her heels in the Kherlen River while on the way to Chingis Khan’s 840th Birthday Bash at Khodoo Aral in Khentii Aimag. I have heard that she is now working as a lawyer in Washington, D.C. It is so sad when good kids go bad.  (click on photos for enlargements).
 Chingis Khan’s 840th Birthday Bash
 Locals honoring the memory of Chingis Khan at the 840th Birthday Bash
 Shaman at the 840th Birthday Bash
Uyana and young swain at the 840th Birthday Bash at Khodoo Aral.  Over 5000 people attended the wingding.


  1. That's really saying something! Did you go, oh, well, obviously you did!! Happy Birthday you old Mongol, Chingis! You certainly set an example for your children and grandchildren.

  2. The engraved characters on the third picture are odd. What are they?

    Judging from the young woman's attire, they used to celebrate the great man's birthday earlier in the year, no?

  3. The line of vertical text in the middle is of course Mongolian Vertical Script. I think the other symbols are brands which were used on livestock. I have seen these brands used as decorations in various other contexts.

    The 2002 bash was in August. The celebration on the first day of the first month of winter is I think a recent innovation. Apparently the day was chosen arbitrarily. As far as I know the actual day of Chingis Khan’s birth is not known.

  4. Brands used on livestock! I thought they were part of some ancient cryptography, a coded message for opening a portal to Shambala, at the very least!

    The Khan's face seems to be rubbed shiny. Is it done for a reason?

  5. I am pretty sure they are livestock brands. Of course the livestock brands may be coded messages about how to find Shambhala. What better way to ensure that they are not forgotten. I must get my staff of cryptographers to work on this.

    The face is worn smooth and shiny from so many people rubbing it for good luck.

  6. Why does the shaman’s drum have a swastika on it?

  7. The swastika is an ancient symbol often used by shamans, Buddhists, and others. Only in the twentieth century did it get negative connotations.