Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s congratulation on Kalmyk Tea Day

On 16 May, Kalmyk Tea Day was celebrated in Kalmykia (Halmg Tsyaagin Nyar in the Kalmyk language). This holiday is celebrated on the third Saturday of May. First president of Kalmykia, sixth president of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov congratulated fellow countrymen on this holiday. You may watch his video message on the homepage of our website. Its text reads as follows:

“I congratulate my fellow countrymen and everyone who is familiar with the Kalmyk culture, with our national holiday, Kalmyk Tea Day! I wish all peace, good health, for which Kalmyk tea is very good”, said Kirsan Nikolaevich.
Ilyumzhinov also shared stories related to the holiday. Incidentally, a friend of Kirsan Nikolaevich Gazi Luguev was the first to congratulate him on and said that his family has been drinking Kalmyk tea for a long time.


Kalmyk tea is known in all corners of the world. Especially it is popular among peoples of the North Caucasus. Kirsan Nikolaevich recalled that, he was treated to Kalmyk tea, while visiting Ramzan Kadyrov and Ramzan Akhmedovich then said that everyone in his family loved Kalmyk tea.

Ilyumzhinov also spoke about the visit of Vladimir Putin to Kalmykia. “They treated him to Kalmyk tea in a wagon. Having taken a few sips from the bowl, he smiled and quietly asked: “Didn’t you mix salt with sugar while making the tea?”
Ilyumzhinov also said that Ernst Neizvestny loved to drink Kalmyk tea during his visits to Kalmykia. “Kirsan, how I miss the energy of your Kalmyk tea,” said Neizvestny, completing work on the Exodus and Return monument.
But not everyone loved Kalmyk tea. Ilyumzhinov mentioned Pushkin, who did not appreciate Kalmyk tea while traveling to the Caucasus, but devoted several of his works to the Kalmyk people.
Among the lovers of Kalmyk tea, Ilyumzhinov mentioned French writer Alexander Dumas Sr. However, lawyer Fedor Plevako, Dmitry Mendeleev, Lavr Kornilov, father of Vladimir Lenin, Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov liked miraculous Kalmyk tea. Note that they all had Kalmyk roots.
Editors’ note: The traditional Kalmyk tea ceremony also has its own rules. While making tea, all movements are made from left to right, in the direction of the sun. The first portion of tea is offered to Burkhanas (Buddhas): it is poured into a sacrificial cup and placed on the altar. It is given to children after the end of tea drinking.
There are several versions of how Kalmyk tea came about. According to one of them, the famous religious reformer Zonghawa once fell ill and turned to a doctor. The doctor prescribed a “divine drink” for him, advising him to drink it on an empty stomach for seven consecutive days. Zonghawa heeded the advice and was healed. On this occasion, he urged all believers to light a candle to Burkhanas and prepare a miraculous drink, later called by the Kalmyks “Halmg Tse”. It was the very tea.