|

Ulaanbaatar welcomes a warm and clear new year

Photo by TUGULDUR

By B.KHASH-ERDENE

Ulaanbaatar has enjoyed the warmest and clearest new year celebrations in decades with an average temperature of a relatively warm, minus eight degrees Celsius.
Perhaps the most welcoming sight was the clear air on the morning of the first day of 2014. UB Air Quality, a Facebook group which provides a report on the capital’s air conditions every three hours, reported that between 00:00-03:00 and 12:00-15:00 on January 1, the air pollution rate was “moderate,” for the first time in weeks. Since October, the group’s reports on air quality have usually fluctuated from, “unhealthy” (24 hour exposure), to “hazardous”, to “beyond index.”
Many took these extraordinarily clear and warm conditions as a good sign that the year will be an unusual one with many successes. A friend of mine commented that it was like “seeing the capital in HD format.”
On New Year’s Day, the hottest destination for city dwellers was, as always, Central Square, which was jam-packed with residents, tourists, and visitors from rural areas. The highlight is always the Silver Night of Ulaanbaatar Concert, which this year featured popular and rising stars and groups such as A Sound, The Lemons, Choijoo, Gee, A Cool, and Rec On.
The young stars gave a spectacular performance, and the attendees – who were mostly young people and families with small children – seemed delighted with the evening’s events.
The only downside to the performances were the song choices, which were sometimes extremely sad and somber songs, or included inappropriate language for children.
The performance, in my opinion, wasn’t the most memorable, or maybe I’ve seen too many of the same kind. The highlight for me was the good weather. I can’t remember a New Year’s celebration event held outside when I didn’t end up freezing cold from toe to nose. But at this year’s event, nobody was burdened by the cold and spectators were able to focus on the events rather than trying to stay warm.
The square was decorated with lights all around and “New Year” trees. Tents were set up in the south-western corner offering hot drinks, food and other merchandise, and the stage for the Silver Night of Ulaanbaatar stood on the west side of the square. The many hundreds of people gathered around the stage to see their favorite performers made it nearly impossible to approach the stage. To my surprise, fires were lit in barrels in many places.
The police were extremely busy on New Year’s Eve, patrolling the city center and managing traffic around the square. Most of the roads and parking spots were closed and reserved for the special public transportation routes for the evening and Silver Night of Ulaanbaatar guests.
All districts in Ulaanbaatar organized their own community New Year’s celebrations this year, which was ordered in early December by Mayor E.Bat-Uul.
The New Year is one of the biggest events of the year in Mongolia, but the holidays and festivities haven’t ended yet as Tsagaan Sar (Lunar New Year) will be on February 1 this year. Tsagaan Sar can be equated to Christmas, as more or less the same traditions unfold. People rush to buy goods for the feast, and prepare presents for children and adults alike. Families reunite to honor their elders, and welcome the lunar new year.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=7116

Posted by on Jan 3 2014. Filed under Онцлох мэдээлэл. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

Recently Commented

  • Oyun: www.theblueeconomy.org
  • Honheree: It is a sad and awful sight to see so many animals dead from dzuds. These have happened in the past and since 2004 there have...
  • Harvey Dent: Mongolia does not get 476,000 tourists a year. Its gets 476,000 arrivals, most of these are Chinese construction workers....
  • Honheree: It is good but unusual that a Mongolian is so forthright. I am D. Ganbold will be criticised by Mongolians for telling the...
  • Honheree: Be thankful Mongolia is so cheap. In USA lamb in stores costs 69,281 MNT /kg and sirloin which is cheaper cut of beef is...