Chinggis Khaan’s Birth date to be marked on different day every year
The legislators of Mongolia have agreed to mark the birthday of Chinggis Khaan on the first day of first month of winter according to Lunisolar Calendar every year. Therefore, related legislations will be amended regarding this national holiday. Originally, the Government was set to mark the date on November 14 each year according to Gregorian Calendar.However, scientists have different views about the birth date of Chinggis Khaan as it is hard to set the exact date according to Gregorian Calendar. Some of the scientists claimed the birthdate of our Khaan must have occured in summer while the majority of them supporting the date of winter. As the winter date holds the most persuasive and practical hypotheses, the Government accepted this. This means that there will be no exact one date of Chinggis Khaan’s birthday according to Gregorian Calendar.
Following is the Record of Conference which researchers discussed about the birth date of Chinggis Khaan regarding their researches and views.
Professor, PhD Sh.Choimaa: We Mongolians are undoubtedly the descendants of Chinggis Khaan who are continuing his family lineage and are custodians of his birth place and home land. Today more than ever it is of great significance to determine the birthday of Chinggis Khaan so it can be celebrated. I am especially glad that this discussion is occurring as currently Mongolians mark only two national holidays Tsagaan Sar and Naadam Festivals while celebrating foreign religion such as Valentine’s Day have encroached into the Mongolian psyche. Thus, we must mark the birthday of our Chinggis Khaan nationwide with a magnificent display once a year. It would help our next generations to know about their history, revere their country and grow up with strong affection towards Mongolia.
I strongly believe that the birthday of Chinggis Khaan is on first day of first month of winter according to lunisolar calendar. There are numerous documents which support it. Namely, ‘The Secret History of the Mongols’ notes Chinggis Khaan was born with a blood clot grasped in his fist and although the Secret History of the Mongols doesn’t mention any precise birthdate we can take a hint from its context. Enemy invasions were difficult to predict for Mongols and could occur in any four seasons. Conversely, initiating war was always preceded with planning and tactical concerns and thus our ancestors chose the most suitable times of the year which would help them ensure victory. Mongolians of the time invaded other countries mostly when the livestock were well grazed and woods were hard enough to make arrows and bows. Thus, firstly I concluded that the birthday of Chinggis Khaan must have occurred in last month of fall or first month of winter. Secondly, other Mongolian source materials and treatises such as Lu ‘Altan Tovch’ Chronicle claim that Chinggis Khaan was born on 16th of the first month of summer and some treatises have repeated the information of Lu ‘Altan Tovch’. But out of all others, three treatises including ‘Bolor Toli’ written by Jambaldorj, ‘Suvd Erikh’ written by Gonchigjav, the historian of Ordos, and ‘Khukh Tuukh’ clearly noted that Chinggis Khaan was born on first day of first month of winter. Third, we can determine the birthday of Chinggis Khaan with the help of ‘Arvan Buyant Nomiin Tsagaan Tuukh (White History of Ten Virtuous Treatises), treatises of offering customs and traditional Mongolian rites. Mongolians used to mark four offerings a year, one of which was Myalaaguudiin Khurim or the Tasam Offering. This offering used to be served on October 3 and according to the original Mongolian calendar October is the first month of winter but this is not the same October referred to in the Gregorian calendar. Three days after the birthdate of Chinggis Khaan, the Mongols celebrated a ceremonial washing of the new born Chinggis Khaan and the Tasam Offering was based on this event. Out of four seasonal offerings, only the winter offering was named the ‘Great Offering’ even with the descendants of Chinggis Khaan (Golden Lineage) specifically honoring this offering and paying respect to Chinggis Khaan. Finally, according to a document which was copied by Tseveen from the source in Saint Petersburg of Russia in 1910, Mongolians offer the Tasam Offering precisely on October 3.
Professor B.Baljinnyam: The ‘Secret History of the Mongols’ mentions the birthday of Chinggis Khan three times yet it doesn’t provide a specific date. As for the recent hypotheses, we agree with the date suggested by Sh.Choimaa which is in the first day of first month of winter. I think we should conclude the birthday of Chinggis Khan on this date. Another issue is to determine the birthdate following Gregorian Calendar and as such some researchers propose that Chinggis Khaan was born on December 21 as referenced to the Gregorian Calendar and the ceremonial washing took place on December 23. But the most important thing that we should focus is how to set the precise date of Chinggis Khan’s birthday according to the Mongolian calendar as the situation is confused by various calendars, by definition, represent differently birthday dates.
PhD G.Akim: The birthday of Chinggis Khaan is written to be in first month of summer according to Lu ‘Altan Tovch’. Thus, three other treatises which were written after this treatise copied this date. All of a sudden, ‘Khukh Tuukh’ and following treatises claims the birthday of our Khaan occur on first day of first month in winter. I wrote an article regarding the issue in 2006 and the statement of Sh.Choimaa is matching the summary of my article. Four treatises state the ceremonial washing of Chinggis Khaan occurred in winter. Until the beginning of 20th century, Buryats and Barguds of Mongolia celebrated the Tasam Offering every winter.
Writer, Journalist L.Purevdorj: As far as I know, nine treatises mention the birthday of Chinggis Khaan. Six of them state it is on first day of first month in winter while other three indicate it occurred in summer. I’d like to note that regarding the ‘Arvan Buyant Nomiin Tsagaan Tuukh’ Tasam Offering annually took place on October 3. The ‘Erdeniin Erikh’ treatise clearly explained the Tasam Offering was originally marked as ceremonial washing of new born. Briefly, the Arvan Buyant Nomiin Tsagaan Tuukh states that Tasam Offering was held after three days of Chinggis Khan’s birth and Kublai Khan started to celebrate the Tasam Offering again magnificently from his era. The offering was passed down to next generations with the Order of Kublai Khan. It is without a doubt that Kublai Khan, the grandson of Chinggis Khan, determined the date of Tasam Offering correct on October 3 in his order as his grandfather had passed away only 60 years ago.
Researcher N.Nagaanbuu: The Mongols had their own calendar and regarding this I released a book of the traditional calendar in 2005. As the Mongolian history in the middle ages has been significantly distorted, I want to suggest that researchers follow the Mongolian calendar when determining the birthday of Chinggis Khaan. It is correct that Chinggis Khaan was born in first day of first month in winter. Regarding the Gregorian Calendar, Chinggis Khaan’s birthday is December 21.
PhD A.Punsag: The Institute of History of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences has delivered referential material to the President of Mongolia. Our researchers agree that the birthday of Chinggis Khaan took place in first month of winter according to lunisolar calendar as it is supported by the most historical evidence. First and foremost the birth place of our Khaan is believed to be at the Deluun Boldog location. Considering many facts, Deluun Boldog was a winter quarter of nomads. Second, a sable coat from another clan has been delivered to Yesukhei, the father of Chinggis Khaan, as a present of congratulation on his son’s birth. Mongolians gave presents based on the appropriate season and time of the year. Thus, would not give a sable coat during the hot summer which supports Chinggis Khaan being born in winter. The Tasam Offering is one of which even today the Tsakhar and Uzemchin Ethnic groups of Inner Mongolia still celebrate the ceremonial washing of a new born three days after infants’ birth which again supports the winter birthdate. Even if we can’t prove without doubt the birthdate of Chinggis Khaan, I hope that the Mongolian Government will set a specific date to honor Chinggis Khaan’s birth and therefore set the day for the 850th anniversary of Chinggis Khaan to be celebrated magnificently in 2013.
PhD O.Sukhbaatar: Three clauses of ‘The Secret History of Mongols’ mention the birth place of Chinggis Khaan, yet no birthdate. In my view, Shamanism was wide spread at the time in Mongolia. There’s a saying that even a thousand shamans cannot cause you a problem without your birthday information while only one shaman is enough to cause you misfortune if he or she obtains your birthdate. Thus, the Mongols had long tradition of hiding their birth dates. Some people claim that due to lack of chronological record the Mongols didn’t know their birthdays but this is a misunderstanding. In fact ‘The Secret of History of the Mongols’ shows the exact date of wedding of Taichuds, the another clan of the time, of Chinggis Khaan parted from Jamukha and many other facts while the birthday of our Khaan is not written. Hence, it is absurd not to know the birthday of Chinggis Khaan while any other events have been written with their dates. It was clearly of religious significance to not mention Chinggis Khaan’s birth date.
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