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Spring Endowment

Spring Endowment

With the arrival of spring and mild weather, livestock is emancipated, but pasture grass is still usually rare. Animals typically give birth in the spring, however, despite these conditions. This is the busiest and hardest period for livestock breeders. There is the Lunar Month festival which celebrates the passing of winter safe and sound. The spring endowment symbolizes the end of the hardships of winter and the welcoming of a new and favorable season. Our livestock breeders deem it necessary to undertake a ritual that symbolizes that everything in the universe is in coming forth, that the animals are producing their young, and that dairy products are available. They, therefore, perform a ceremony of bird or camel endowment at the end of spring and the beginning of summer. This is the celebration of welcoming an auspicious season after raising young animals well and increasing their animal population.

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According to the verses, “Do not go out to see the birds flying away; Do not come in when you see the birds flying back in”, it seems that birds flying away means sadness and birds coming back means happiness. The return of birds is a sign of coming good times. The following verses are recited during the bird endowment ceremony:

When the white pen comes

When the snow on the mountain melts

When the whitish-yellow mare gives birth

Plenty of endowments may come

Hurray, Hurray, Hurray

When the swan comes

When drifts of snow thaw

When mares give birth

Fortune of endowments may come

Hurray, Hurray, Hurray

When the cuckoo comes

When the frozen earth thaws

When lambs are released from their tethering-line

The endowments may come

Hurray, Hurray, Hurray

The swan is considered to be a beautiful, lovely, and harmless bird. It is believed that if a swan cries while passing over a ger during its journey back in the spring, then that summer will bring happiness and plenty of dairy products.

The verses of the endowment ceremony of the camel are similar to the verses of the bird endowment ceremony. It also symbolically welcomes the warm season and gives blessings to the newborn animals. The verses of the bird endowment ceremony are common among livestock breeders who live around many lakes and rivers and the verses of camel endowment ceremonies are common in the Gobi desert where there are many camels.

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