Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Mongolia | Zanabazar Hoopla

All kinds of news on the Zanabazar Front. On July 29-30 there was a Danshig Naadam held in honor of Zanabazar’s 370th birthday at Erdene Zuu, with newly elected Mongolian president Enkhbayar and host of other dignitaries in attendance.

New President Enkhbayar receiving the Seal of Mongolia from outgoing president Bagabandi (not my photo)

The first Danshig Naadam in Zanabazar’s honor was held in 1653 after his return from his first trip to Tibet. Like at the first one the traditional horse races, wrestling, and archery contests took place at the latest shindig. Unfortunately, I was in China stuffing myself with dumplings at the time and unable to attend. I also heard there was a celebration at Yeson Zuil and that there are plans to construct eight new stupas on the site of the old Eight Stupa Temple which was destroyed in the 1930s. This temple reportedly marked the spot where Zanabazar was born. I will post more details on this as they become available.

Then it was announced that a monument in Zanabazar’s honor is to be constructed in front of Gandan Monastery.

As one of his last acts in office outgoing president Bagabandi and his wife (center) showed up at Gandan Monastery

Finally an art show featuring the works of ubiquitous Mongolian Buddhist artist Purevbat opened with a blizzard of media coverage at the Zanabazar Art Museum, this also in honor of Zanabazar’s 370th birthday . . .

Banner heralding Purevbat's art show at the Zanabazar Art Museum