|STATE STRUCTURE||Parliamentary republic|
|INTERNAL DIVISION||Mongolia is divided into 21 aimags, which in turn have 329 soums in their composition. The capital Ulaanbaatar is an independent administrative unit|
|CLIMATE||Sharply continental climate with harsh winters and dry hot summers|
|NATIONAL COMPOSITION||Mongols – 94.9%, Turks (mainly Kazakhs) – 5%, Chinese and Russians – 0.1%.|
|TIMEZONE||UTC +7 and +8 / Moscow time +5|
The flag of Mongolia is the national symbol of Mongolia. Adopted February 12, 1992. On February 22, 2012, the Mongolian standard MNS 6262:2011 entered into force, specifying the colors and design of the flag.
Three equal vertical stripes of red, blue and red. In the center of the red stripe adjacent to the flagpole, the state symbol “Soyombo” is depicted in yellow. The blue color of the flag of Mongolia is the color of the country’s cloudless sky. Red is the color of fire, the flame of bonfires in the steppe, reminiscent of the victory of the national liberation revolution in 1921. There is a golden ideogram on the red strip near the hoist, in the upper part of which there is the symbol “soyombo” – the sun, the moon and the special sign “anusvara” – the point from which, according to Buddhist teaching, the universe began its development. The three flames crowning the “anusvara” represent the past, present and future.
The coat of arms of Mongolia (Mongol. Mongol ulsyn toriin suld) in its modern form was adopted in 1992 after the disappearance of the socialist system in the Mongolian People’s Republic.
The coat of arms is inscribed in a circle. The blue background means the sky, and the golden “tumen nasan” pattern that surrounds it means unity. In the center is a figure that combines the national emblem “soyombo” and a precious stallion. They signify the independence, sovereignty and spirit of Mongolia. At the top of the coat of arms is the talisman “chintamani”, which in Mongolian folklore fulfills wishes and means the past, present and future. To the bottom of the center of the coat of arms is a mountain range and a Buddhist wheel-dharmachakra. This wheel is entwined with a ritual scarf-hadak. The basis of the coat of arms is a lotus – one of the Buddhist symbols.
Mongol Uls – this is how the name of the country sounds in old Mongolian, which is known to the whole world as the birthplace of Genghis Khan – the great conqueror and ruler who united the scattered Steppe into a single state.
According to Franciscogardening.com, East Asian Mongolia borders Russia and China. The climate of the country is sharply continental, with frosty winters and dry hot summers. In winter, the temperature reaches -35 degrees, and in summer up to +35. There is very little rain and snowfall here, and they mostly occur in the mountain ranges in the northwest.
Most people imagine Mongolia as an endless steppe, but they are mistaken – it is mostly a mountainous country. Its highest peak is Kuiten Uul (Cold Peak), which is located at the junction of the Saylyugem mountain range, Mongolian and Southern Alatau. The height of Kuiten Uul is 4374 meters.
Many rivers originate in the Mongolian mountains, among them the Selenga, Kerulen, Onon and Khalkhin Gol. There are many lakes in Mongolia. One of them, Khubsugul, whose depth is 238 meters, is similar to Baikal in terms of water composition. It is even customary to call him the younger brother of Baikal.
Stretching through Mongolia and neighboring China is one of the most treacherous deserts in the world, the Gobi (Desert Place), known in antiquity as the Shamo Desert.
Interesting fact: Numerous remains of dinosaurs were found in the Gobi – predatory velociraptors and tarbosaurus, herbivorous protoceratops. The most famous paleontological find is the “Fighting Dinosaurs” – Velociraptor and Protoceratops mated and died under a collapse.
The Mongolian land connected mountain, taiga, steppe and desert flora and fauna. Larch, Siberian cedar, birch, bird cherry, sea buckthorn grow here. From shrubs and herbs – currants, wild rose, feather grass and saxaul. The fauna is represented by lynxes, deer, wolves, foxes, wild camels, ibexes, bears and antelopes. Demoiselle cranes can often be found among common wild geese and ducks. The rivers and lakes of Mongolia are rich in fish: taimen, lenok, trout and grayling.
Interesting fact: For the sake of an adult taimen, which can weigh up to 80 kilograms, fishermen from the USA, Japan, Russia and Australia come to Mongolia. As a rule, after catching a taimen, a happy fisherman takes a few photos and releases his prey.
Many centuries before the birth of the Shaker of the Universe – and this is how it was necessary to address Genghis Khan – the Great Steppe raised strong, hardy and brave warriors – the people of the Xiongnu (in European history – the Huns). In 202 BC, for the first time in the history of nomadic tribes, the Xiongnu empire was created, the ruler (shanyu) of which was Mode – smart and ruthless.
Interesting fact: Legend has it that Mode was an unloved son. His father gave him as a hostage, but Mode did not want to die in captivity, killed the guard and fled. His father was forced to appoint him head of one of the uluses, in which Mode introduced the whistling arrow rule – all soldiers were required to shoot in the direction of the arrow he fired. Once the target of Mode alternately became his beloved horse and beloved wife. Those who did not dare to do the same were beheaded. When Mode’s arrow flew into the ruler – his father – all the soldiers fired in the given direction.
After the collapse of the Xiongnu empire in 93 AD, Mongol, Turkic, Uyghur and Kirghiz khanates arose on its territory.
Presumably in 1155, on the banks of the Onon, a son was born in the family of the valiant warrior Yesugei-bagatur, who was named Temuchin – in honor of the brave Tatar Khan captured the day before. According to legend, the newborn squeezed a blood clot in his fist, which, according to Mongolian beliefs, promised him the happiness of a great warrior.
In 1206, at the kurultai (congress) of all Mongolian tribes, Temujin received the title of Genghis Khan – the Great Khan. He died in 1227 near the walls of the capital of the Tangut kingdom, which he defeated. The cause of death of the great warrior was an injury received while hunting two years before. The Mongol Empire, created by Genghis Khan, reached its highest prosperity and greatness under his grandchildren. It occupied the territory from Poland in the west to Korea in the east, from Siberia in the north to the Gulf of Oman and Vietnam in the south.
Books have been written and films made about the life of the Great Mogul. In Mongolia itself, the international airport, avenues, streets, hotels and restaurants are named after Genghis Khan. The direct descendants of the Great Khan ruled the country until the 1920s. The family of Genghis Khan continues to this day, the names of his descendants are known, they are respected and, as a rule, they occupy honorary positions.
Interesting fact: Historians have calculated: in his campaigns, Genghis Khan destroyed about 40 million people; 8% of all Asian men are the genetic heirs of Genghis Khan.
One of the great grandsons of the Great Mogul is Khan Batu or Batu, he is the most famous Genghisid in Europe. In 1227, he led the Western campaign of the Mongols and in 6 years destroyed the Volga Bulgaria, ruined Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia.
Another descendant of Genghis Khan, Khan Hulagu, went down in history under the formidable nickname “The Curse of the Arabs” – for crushing the powerful Arab state of the Abbasids. Another one, Khubilai, became the last, fifth Great Khan and the founder of the Chinese imperial Yuan dynasty (China was then part of Mongolia).
But the Great Tamerlane, contrary to popular belief, was not a descendant of Genghis Khan. But he still had a relationship with the Great Mogul, having married in 1370 the great-granddaughter of Genghis Khan.
Interesting fact: The burial place of Genghis Khan has not yet been found. In 2000, Time magazine named Genghis Khan the Man of the Millennium.
In the middle of the XIV century, an anti-Mongol uprising began in China, which led to the collapse of the Yuan dynasty. China separated from Mongolia, and in 1380 its army burned the capital of the Mongolian kingdom – Karakorum. In the 17th century, Mongolia became part of the Chinese Qin Empire, freeing itself from its influence only at the beginning of the 20th century. Then the head of the Buddhists of Mongolia, Bogdo Khan, became the monarch. But after 8 years, Mongolia was occupied by the Chinese. In 1921, Russian General Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg came to the aid of the Mongols. His cavalry division, together with the Mongol troops, liberated the country.
An interesting fact: Lieutenant General of the Russian army, a prominent figure in the White movement in the Far East and Knight of St. George Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg was the author of the idea of restoring the empire of Genghis Khan. But in August 1921, he was captured by Far Eastern partisans and on September 15 of the same year, at the age of 35, he was shot in Novonikolaevsk (Novosibirsk).
In 1924, Mongolia was declared the Mongolian People’s Republic (MPR), while until the end of 1945 the Soviet Union was the only country that recognized its independence.
On May 8, 1939, a platoon of Japanese soldiers tried to occupy an island belonging to Mongolia on the Khalkhin Gol River, but the sabotage failed. This did not stop the Japanese, after three days 300 cavalry advanced 15 kilometers deep into Mongolian territory. The battles for Khalkhin Gol lasted until September 1939 and ended with the joint victory of the Soviet Red Army and the Mongolian.
During the Great Patriotic War, the MPR, together with the TNR (the latter became part of the USSR in 1944 as the Tuva Autonomous Region), were the first to offer their assistance to the Soviet Union. About 500 Mongolian volunteers fought on the fronts of the Second World War in the cavalry and sapper units of the Red Army. In addition, the Mongols, like real hunters, were excellent snipers.
During the war years, Mongolia supplied 485,000 horses to the USSR, and another 32,000 were donated by Mongolian peasants. General Issa Pliev wrote: “An unpretentious Mongolian horse next to a Soviet tank reached Berlin.” The Mongolian people raised funds for the production of 53 tanks, this column was called “Revolutionary Mongolia”. The inhabitants of the country also raised money to create a combat squadron, which they called the “Mongolian Arat”. Mongolia sent humanitarian echelons for the soldiers of the Red Army.
In February 1992, a new constitution came into force in the country, according to which the MPR became known as Mongolia. More than 94% of the country’s population is made up of the peoples of the Mongolian group: Khalkha Mongols, Derbets, Bayats, Buryats and many others. Kazakhs, Tuvans, a small number of Russians and Chinese also live in the country.
More than half of the local residents are Buddhists, 3% are Muslims. Until the end of the 16th century, the main religion of the Mongols was shamanism, and Buddhism came to them from Tibet. At the same time, the Mongol khans actively participated in the internecine wars of the Tibetan Gelug and Kagyu schools.
The traditions of shamanism and beliefs associated with them are still strong. So, for example, children can smear their foreheads with soot – to deceive evil spirits who think that this is not a child, but a rabbit with black hair on its forehead.
The most important holiday of the Mongols is the traditional games of Nadom – competitions in horse racing, wrestling and archery.
Mongolia absorbed the culture of Tibet to a greater extent and, to a lesser extent, that of China and Russia. Local epic poems, uligers, tell about the life of Genghis Khan, about the exploits of the mythical hero Geser Khan, who freed the earth from terrible monsters.
Education in Mongolia is free, thanks to which 90% of the population is literate.
Higher educational institutions of the country are represented by seven universities. The leading university is the Mongolian State University in Ulaanbaatar. Since 1951, Mongolian youth could study in the universities of the USSR. By 1961, 410 Mongolian specialists were trained in Soviet universities, and by the end of the 70s – three thousand.
In Mongolia, there are both official and traditional medicine, which is more than 3000 years old. From the beginning of the 13th century, Mongolian doctors were very popular in China and Tibet. Only they could treat complex battle wounds.
The insurance policy of the International standard in the country is practically not valid. But in any case, the first emergency assistance to a tourist will always be provided free of charge.
An interesting fact: the first vaccination of the Mongols against smallpox was carried out by the paramedic Osipov, who served in 1864 in Urga, in the Russian consulate.
Since the 1964 Olympics, Mongolia has been constantly participating in the Games. She has 2 gold medals, 9 silver and 13 bronze medals. The Mongols perform in their traditional sports disciplines – wrestling, boxing, shooting and archery. Mongolian athletes are the undisputed leaders in sumo wrestling, which is native to Japan.
In addition to souvenirs that can remind tourists of visiting a shaman or a Buddhist monastery, you can bring things from Mongolia from the most expensive wool in the world – cashmere. Another practical gift from Mongolia is a camel wool blanket.
In Mongolian cuisine, as befits a nomadic people, there are a lot of meat and dairy dishes. One of the traditional ones is boodog. It is prepared from a whole carcass of a kid, having previously removed all the bones from it. The resulting “skin” is filled with red-hot stones and cooked on coals. As for drinks, the locals especially revere the traditional sutei cai, which is made from green tea, milk, fat, salt, flour and rice.
The main attraction of Mongolia is its nature. The country is very popular among fishermen, hunters and climbers. Fans of paleontology should also visit Mongolia, because in the mountains of Nemegetu there is a world-famous “cemetery of dinosaurs”.
An interesting fact: In Mongolia, a truly khan’s entertainment is very popular – hunting with golden eagles. Every autumn the country hosts the International Hunting Festival – Golden Eagle Festival.
Wildlife lovers can visit Khustai National Park. Its inhabitants are about 50 species of mammals, and the main asset is the Przhevalsky horses, which were on the verge of destruction in the 20th century. At the beginning of 2017, the number of Przewalski’s horses in Mongolia exceeded 700 heads.
An interesting fact: Among the Mongols, Przewalski’s horse has always been called “tahi”, which can be translated as “spirit”. According to legend, tahi are intermediaries through which people convey their requests to the gods.
The main attractions of the country are located either near Ulaanbaatar or in the city itself. So, not far from the capital of the country, the village of Dulun-Boldog is located – the small homeland of Genghis Khan, one of the most monumental monuments to the Great Khan was erected here. Further lie the ruins of the capital of the Mongol Empire built by him – Karakorum.
In Ulaanbaatar itself, museums are interesting, the Bell of Peace in the central square and the Khan’s headquarters, decorated with sculptures of 21 hypostases of the goddess Tara.
Interesting fact: Interesting fact: Ulaanbaatar is the coldest capital in the world. The average annual temperature here is 4 degrees. Until 1924, Ulan Bator (City of the Red Hero) was called Ugra (HQ of a noble person or Palace, Monastery).
Buddhist traditions and the long friendship of the Mongolian people with the Soviet and Russian have left their mark on the holidays of modern Mongolia. Among the country’s secular holidays are New Year (January 1), International Women’s Day (March 8) and Children’s Day (June 1).