Mongolia may be fully embracing the 21t Century, but traditions and superstitions remain an important part of everyday life
Mongolia is known as the Eternal Blue Sky. Not only because of its 260 blue sky days on average per year but also in connection with the ancient practise of shamanism – the worshipping of the Eternal Blue Sky (Tenger) and the myriad spiritual forces of nature. Traditionally, Mongolians are deeply superstitious and these superstitions are unwritten rules that live in the mind of nearly every Mongolian – including the Eternal Landscapes team. As part of our EL welcome pack, we include a file on Mongolia’s culture and traditions, but in advance of your arrival (!), here are a few suggestions:
Shake hands if you have stepped on someone’s foot. Why? You have invaded their social space and you may become enemies.
Don’t whistle inside a ger. Why? Mongolians believe this may bring a natural disaster – such as a very strong wind or heavy rain that causes flash floods. Mongols do ‘whistle for the wind’ in the summer outside, when a breeze helps to keep down the flies. They do no whistle in the winter or spring for fear it will bring storms.
Do not step on the threshold of the door or speak to someone across the threshold of the doorway. Why? It is thought that the spirit of the house lives on the threshold and the threshold offers protection to the family.
If you see a shooting star never point to it or mention it. Why? Briefly, in Mongolia, shooting stars are seen as an omen of a death. This is because they say that each star represents a person and when you see a shooting star it highlights that person’s death.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Mongolia, why not look at our brief guide to Mongolia’s country profile on my Eternal Landscapes website?