Monday, November 4, 2013

Two birthday celebrations, invited guests and coming up roses

Chinggis Khan holiday. We celebrated Chinggis Khan's birthday on November 4. Every year the government chooses a different date to celebrate during the month of November. All government offices were closed and most commercial businesses except for food stores and restaurants.

Again, courtesy of Dr. Stewart, we have pictures to show. 

The official ceremony consisted of the honor guard and a color guard going up the stairs of Parliament, going to a special display room and bringing out nine horse hair flags symbolic of the flags Chinggis Khan and his sons carried when they conquered Asia, Russia, India, Afghanistan, Persia, and Eastern Europe to the edge of Vienna, Austria.

The flags are then transferred to nine mounted flag bearers who then parade on the streets of Ulaanbaatar and then return to the Parliament to and repost the flags.

The only other time of the year they do this is during Nadaam when they take the flags down to the stadium and display them during the three days of Nadaam.

If some of this looks familiar, it is - because we saw and photographed the ceremony performed last July.

Prior to the ceremony with the nine flags, various people in traditional dress representing the different tribes and nobility came out and stood on the steps of Parliament. This was new from this summer.

Work and then play. Darlene worked hard afternoon on this holiday and the evening before assisting 3 young women preparing to go on their missions shortly.

They wanted to register for Family Tree and prepare family names to take with them to the temple. It was fun for her as these young women were motivated and taught her Mongolian as they worked together.  

Parliament Puje's birthday. Puje, one of our dear friends in Mongolia, celebrated her birthday by inviting three senior couples to her home. She has a wonderfully open and engaging personality and is fun to be around. She is a widow and she two adult children who live in the United States.
The meal Puje and her sister prepared for us
She has helped the senior couples in numerous ways including serving a service mission in Murun as a translator. She was with us on our temple trip to Hong Kong.

She gets her nickname because there are so many "Pujes" in the church and in Mongolia. It is the short name for Purevsuren, a common name for both men and women in Mongolia. She used to work for Parliament and knows many of the legislators there. She joined the church in 1997.
Singing "Happy Birthday" to Puje
To have an official tour of Parliament, you need permission from a member of Parliament. Puje does this for all the Mission Presidents and senior couples who serve here. She partners up with the official tour guides in Parliament to explain the various works of art, displays, and government chambers in the Parliament building.

Young Single Adult devotional. The Young Single Adults in Ulaanbaatar had a Sunday evening devotional where they showed a special video presentation from the YSA conference this summer. The church was packed.

Afterward, one of the young women received a huge bouquet of roses from her boyfriend. This certainly caught her attention and that of her friends.
Feigned disappointment
Pulling off a surprise. Earlier in the day on Friday, the Stewarts invited us to go out to a restaurant to eat that night. We surprised them by taking them up the hill to a favorite Russian restaurant we discovered.

Darlene worked all afternoon on a special pulled pork BBQ dinner and banana cream pie for dessert. We made an excuse to go back to our apartment for a forgotten item and we pulled off the surprise.

We had another surprise for our English class on Halloween with special decorations and treats for our students.
Flags were flying high in Mongolia on Chinggis Khan's birthday


  1. The pictures are just lovely! I read about the celebration in the UB Post. This is so exciting - how fun. The singles' conference looks like an amazing time. Thank you for posting. Jeanette

    1. Elder Palmer arrived! Send me your regular email and I will send you some pictures of his and his group's arrival. My email is Elder Farmer

  2. I love that picture of the Mongolian flags.