Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)'s image
Created: 2014-09-11 16:10
Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
Description: For Kalmyks, Zul is equivalent to New Year’s Day in that it marks the first day of a new year according to Kalmyk lunar calendar. In Kalmyk ‘zul’ means a candle. On this day people make a number of candlewicks (zulyn gol) according to their age and stick them on small boat-shaped candles made of dough. Each person has their own candle. The candles are lit up when the first stars appear in the sky. On this day Kalmyks add a year to their age. According to some local beliefs, however, it is only women and children that add a year to their age on Zul day, whereas men do so a few days after the holiday.

During Zul people are encouraged to perform good deeds, wish each other well, and abstain from alcohol and meat products. In the morning Kalmyks brew traditional tea (jomba) and bake traditional biscuits (bortsg). Before partaking of food, fresh tea and some biscuits are placed on the altar as an offering to gods and ancestors. It is believed that the aroma of the biscuits drives all the bad and negative things from the house and brings good luck and prosperity.

Given Buddhism is intertwined with every aspect of the life of Kalmyks, Zul is also a holiday to commemorate the birth, life and ascent of Zongkhapa (1357-1419), the founder of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism, to nirvana. Prior to Zul the Kalmyks go to monasteries for a special ritual called nas uttullgn to prolong life. On the day of Zul itself monasteries carry out prayers, including those dedicated to Zongkhapa, and light candles as an offering to the great Buddhist teacher.

Five to six days after Zul, Kalmyks celebrate the arrival of the Master of the Year (jilin ezn), which is believed to be a ritual of shamanic origin. In order not to create obstacles in his way, Kalmyks do not take out rubbish for several days. During the celebration of jilin ezn, families invite their older relatives to their homes and also congratulate their men on becoming a year older. During this period people try to avoid making long journeys.
 

Media items

This collection contains 55 media items.

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Media items

Dmitriy Mandzhiev, About Zul

   1 view

Dmitriy talks about how to celebrate Zul.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 28 Oct 2018


Alexandra Sanzheeva, About Zul

   2 views

Alexandra talks about how she celebrates Zul.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 11 Nov 2018


Baira Goryaeva, Kalmyk holidays, Zul and Tsagan Sar

   5 views

Baira talks about Zul and Tsagan Sar.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 19 Sep 2018


Bosya Ochirova, About Zul

   23 views

Bosya talks about Zul and a ritual to prolong one’s life.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sat 23 May 2015


Bulgun Lapsina, About Zul and Tsagan Sar

   4 views

Bulgun briefly talks about how Tersk Kalmyks celebrated Zul and Tsagan Sar.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Tue 11 Sep 2018


Dzhidzha Araeva, Zul and Tsagan Sar

   5 views

Kalmyks make bortsg biscuits for Zul, especially a variety called tselvg. Dough for tselvg is made without yeast by mixing milk and flour and adding sour cream or butter....

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Mon 14 May 2018


Elza Badaeva, About Zul

   2 views

Elza reminisces about how her family celebrated Zul when she was small.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Thu 20 Dec 2018


Galina Mamonova, About Zul and Tsagan Sar

   1 view

Galina says that during Zul Kalmyks light candles, recite prayers and cook festive food, including milk tea, biscuits, meat, soup, bulmg, etc. They welcome and feed their guests....

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Sun 28 Oct 2018


Galina Mandzhieva, About Zul

   17 views

Galina says that before Zul she performs a ritual for prolonging life in her family. In the morning, she makes two types of traditional biscuits and Kalmyk tea and offers them to...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Fri 25 Sep 2015


Garya Naminov, Zul

   15 views

During Zul people add a year to their age. It is believed that during this holiday the lama Tsongkapa descends from the skies. People congratulate each other, make biscuits, tea...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Fri 29 May 2015


Ivan Modunkaev, Zul

   15 views

In his childhood, Ivan recalls, they made candles in the form of small boats from dough. Such candle-boats were made for each member of his family. Also, two extra candle-boats...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Fri 29 May 2015


Kheecha Sandzhiev, About Zul and Tsagan Sar

   14 views

Zul is a birthday celebration. Those who are born in the year of the Horse or Sheep need to perform a ritual to prolong their lives. This ritual is done as follows. Make candles...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Thu 15 Mar 2018


Ksenia Kardonova, About Zul

   12 views

Ksenia Kardonova talks about the traditional holiday of Zul.

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Wed 6 Jun 2018


Ksenia Konchieva, Zul and Tsagan Sar

   10 views

Zul is a birthday. On this day, people light candles for themselves at night. Besides this, one special candle with 9 grass stems stuck on it should be dedicated to the goddess...

Collection: Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Project (ZUL)

Institution: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Created: Fri 29 May 2015


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