Zul to be celebrated in Kalmykia on 29th December

The celebration of the national holiday Zul in 2021 falls on 29th December. The representative of the Khurul Yonten-gelung explained: “According to our, Kalmyk, astrological tradition, which we have been following for many years, Zul will be celebrated on December 29th. The whole of central Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama celebrate this day with us."

The name of the ancient holiday, translated from the Kalmyk language, means lamp. Traditionally, on this day, residents of Kalmykia gather in a family circle and light lamps.
In each family, a certain number of sticks-candles, 7-8 cm in size, were prepared in advance from dry clean hollow feather branches. Each candle was wrapped in cotton or pure wool. Number of candles was same as many as the sum of all family members’ age in years with the addition of one stick on top of each family member.
In the old days, birthdays were not celebrated in Kalmyk families, and therefore there was a common Zul holiday for all Kalmyks also called "The Day of the Increasing Age of the Kalmyk People." It should be noted that not everyone got older on the day of Zul. Men considered to be one year older a week later, on the first day of the next month.

In connection with the Zul New Year's holiday, the Kalmyks have a very interesting system of counting years. The newly born child is already one year old. And if it was born on the eve of Zul, then on the day of Zul it was two years old.

The indispensable attributes of the celebration of Zul are lighted lamps, aromatic Kalmyk tea, and delicious Kalmyk bortsoks. And although the Zul holiday is a family holiday for Kalmyks, a large cultural programme is being prepared on this day.

It includes good wishes in the Kalmyk language and rituals in honour of the great Lama Zonkava, which will be held in the Central Khurul Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni.