Monday, October 10, 2011

“San Salary” ritual

Photo courtesy of Ere-Chui Association of Obshchinas of the Telengit.

"This rite is performed during a new moon, and preparations begin long in advance. Stones are placed on hilly terrain to the eastern side of the house. A flat stone the size of a large plate prepared for lighting a fire. As soon as the first rays of sun are seen, the traditionally dressed master of a house and his family go to the chosen site. They burn juniper (archyn) and then put offerings of dairy products and meat in the fire and sprinkle it with milk. Bowing, they walk around the fire four times. The master walks in the lead and gives blessings, spraying them with milk. Those following him, ask for their wishes to come true in the New Year. The blessing should be spoken aloud only by a specially gifted person, capable of lauding the Master of Altai’s lands. They also tie white, yellow and blue ribbons on the trees. After the ritual people return home and treat guests with traditional dishes and give each other presents. They always ask: “Jyldy kandyj chykkan?” (“How was your year?”). And the response should always be “Iye”, meaning “in good health”. Later they celebrate with traditional festivities and traditional sports..."

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