Ur Sar

The Ur Sar is celebrated in the first month of summer according to the lunar calendar. This month is considered holy, for it is during this time that the Kalmyks celebrate the spiritual achievements of the Buddha Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, and try to follow his teachings by performing good deeds. The culmination of the celebratory month occurs on the 15th day when the Buddha is believed to have been born and later achieved enlightenment.

During this holy month the Kalmyks put up images of deities, decorate their dwellings with religious banners and leafy branches. Buddhist priests purify the earth and cattle by sprinkling them with a mixture of butter and milk. In their prayers the Kalmyks not only include various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, but also the local deity called Tsagan Aav (White Father). Besides Buddhist rituals, Ur Sar ceremonies also include pre-Buddhist rituals involving sacrifices to the masters of land and water.

Baatr Mandzhiev, About Ur Sar

Ur Sar is celebrated when spring ends and summer begins. The celebration includes singing, dancing and various competitions, such as wrestling, horse racing, and catching horses with a pole. Ur Sar is also celebrated at home, but not as widely. This celebration is mentioned in Kalmyk heroic legends.


Batyr Elistaev, About Rituals to Appease Local Deities and Ur Sar


Larisa Kandueva, Ur Sar


Zurgada Antonova, Ur Sar