Auspicious Symbols of Mongolia – Tuesday’s Snapshot

Moments That inspired The Creation Of Eternal Landscapes
February 14, 2014
Where Eagle’s Dare – 2013 Wild Treks Research Trip
February 23, 2014


Tuesday’s Snapshots – highlighting images from the EL team and our guests based on a Mongolia theme. This week…introducing Mongolia’s traditional symbols. 

On the Mongolian flag, there are three equal, vertical bands of red, blue and red – red symbolises progress and prosperity (it is said that the red initially represented Mongolia’s socialist beliefs) and blue represents the Eternal Blue Sky. In yellow/gold  is the national emblem – the Soyembo which contains individual symbolism within it (see below). The old Mongolian flag was roughly the same design but with a socialist star. 
The Soyembo is the first character out of the Mongolian Soyembo script (created by Zanabazar, the First Living Buddha of Mongolia). It serves as a national symbol of Mongolia. The elements in the symbol are given the following significance (from top):

  • The three flames represent fire and the fire represents prosperity, regeneration and success. The three tongues of the flame represent the past, present, and future.
  • The sun and moon symbolize the universe and are believed by Mongolians to be the mother (sun) and father (moon) of their nation.
  • The two triangles pointing at the ground are arrowheads and represent Mongolian’s willingness to defend their nation against interior and exterior enemies.
  • The two horizontal rectangles give stability to the round shape and represent the honesty, justice and righteousness of the Mongolian people.
  • The Yin and Yang symbol represents complementary opposite forces existing together in the universe – such as positive and negative, male and female, passive and active, fire and water, etc. The circle can also be interpreted as two fish that never close their eyes, representing the watchfulness and vigilance of Mongolians. 
  • The two vertical rectangles represent pillars or walls of a fort and symbolize strength and unity (a Mongolian proverb says that ‘The friendship of two is stronger than stone walls’).

Botanical motifs and natural phenomena
This includes stylised representations of the five elements. Patterns used in the embroidery of bedcovers and tablecloths are usually symbols of beauty and nature such as flowers or butterflies. The motifs representing nature symbolize origin and growth. Stylised motifs linked to the cosmos illustrate respect for the powerful forces of nature – such as fire, water, thunder, mountains, the sun and the moon.
The Ulzii Hee represents longevity and is used as a form of protection against evil spirits. The plaited/squared interlace is said to represent the universe and eternal movement. The Buddhist ‘Knot of Eternity’, another geometric design, is also frequently used and is said to represent the endless cycle of rebirth.

Khatan Suik and Khaan Buguivich – Wedding Ring Designs.
The man’s wedding ring is a design of two interlocking circles called Khatan Suik – or Queen’s Carriage. The women’s wedding ring is a design of two interlocking triangles called Khaan Buguivich – or King’s Bracelet. Both symbolise the strength of everlasting love.
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