OACC LNY 2021: Mongolian New Year (Tsagaan Sar Цагаан сар)

Content below is LIVE! Click on the images below to accessing the corresponding video.

Enjoy colorful, captivating Mongolian dances performed by students of GER Youth Center.

Content provided by GER Youth Center.


Mask artist Gankhuyag Natsag (GanNa) shares his latest documentary “The Old White Man.” Born in Ulaanbaatar, he is world renowned as a master of the ancient Buddhist ritual known as Tsam, and as a maker of the masks that are central to this ritual practice. GanNa is a Mongolian and American artist based in Arlington, Virginia. He is internationally recognized and a well-known mask maker as well as the Mongolian cultural director of the “Genghis Khan” travel exhibition. GanNa also established the Mongolian folk dance ensemble “Khan Bogd.”

Continue watching after the documentary to view a short video about how GanNa has passed on his family traditions to his son, Zanabazar Gankhuyag.

About Tsam

The tsam is a Buddhist ritual performed by dancers wearing elaborate costumes and masks. It was introduced to Mongolia in the eighth century, when the Indian saint Lovon Badamjunai sanctified the first Tibetan Buddhist temple. The tsam is a secret and subtle ritual, the meaning of which is often known only to those who perform it. In the 1930s, the Communist government in Mongolia banned the tsam, along with other religious displays. It has since been revived by a number of Mongolian artists, particularly Gankhuyag “Ganna” Natsag. (Source:  https://www.richmondfolkfestival.org/folklife-demos/2018/9/3/gankhuyag-natsag)

All video clips in this presentation were provided by GanNa and reshared with his permission.

Additional information about Gankhuyag Natsag.


Enjoy a special New Year’s greeting message from GanNa, followed by three musical selections featuring members of the Khan Bogd Ensemble as follows:

  1. “Praising Song of Khan Bogd” – A song about Mongolians’ respect for ancestors like Genghis Khan, Buddhist spiritual leaders, and also includes holy mountains and Nature.
  2. “Torgonii Khee” (Торгоны хээ) – This song is about love, missing each other, and also about a Mongolian traditional unique costume, Deel’s silk ornaments.
  3. “Durvun tsagiin tal” (Дөрвөн цагийн тал – This music is about the four seasons in the Mongolian motherland, especially about winter during the Tsagaan Sar Lunar New Year days. It is beautifully produced with traditional costumes and nature.

Featured Artists:

  • Togtokhjargal Buaynkhishig – famous morin khuur (horse head fiddle) player, khoomii (throat) singer

  • Uyanga Gankhuyag – khuuchir (Mongolian violin) player

  • Solongo Gankhuyag (Ятга ГСолонго) – yatga (zither) player

  • G. Selenge – drummer

The Khan Bogd ensemble was founded in 1997. All its members have studied at the academy of music in Ulaanbaatar. The Mongolian songs have a rich repertory. Music spread from home to home on the occasion of festivities and by way of teaching. The family or the clan meeting constituted a good chance to gather and sing together, the chance to learn from others, and to take home a new melody. In this way, the ancient patterns performed in various corners of Mongolia have been preserved by local masters for the whole nation.

All video clips in this presentation were provided by GanNa and reshared with his and the artists’ permission.

Learn more about Khan Bogd Ensemble.


Enjoy additional content:


Return to OACC’s Lunar New Year page