Soldiers’ Day in Mongolia
Soldier’s Day is a holiday in Mongolia that is celebrated annually on March 18th. It comes 10 days after International Women’s Day—a holiday celebrated by 27 countries, including Mongolia. Sometimes known as Men’s and Soldier’s Day, this holiday not only celebrates the armed forces in Mongolia but also Mongolian men.
It was originally designed to be a holiday celebrating the armed forces, but the citizens of this country began to celebrate it as a men’s holiday. On this day, members of the military are lauded, as are average Mongolian men. Many men will receive presents and be able to eat their favorite meals.
The History of Soldier’s Day in Mongolia
During the early days of the 1921 Mongolian Revolution, a Mongolian guerrilla army led by Damdin Sukhbaatar attacked the Chinese garrison at Kyakhta Maimaicheng. Although this Mongolian force was heavily outnumbered by the Chinese, it was able to take control of the town. This battle in March of 1921 is when the Mongolian Armed Forces were first assembled and would become an important day in the history of the country.
Observing Soldier’s Day in Mongolia
Since this holiday is both a civilian and a military holiday, it is observed in a wide variety of ways. The military often holds parades and other special events to observe this holiday. At Sukhbaatar Square, there is usually a wreath-laying ceremony performed by the Chief of General Staff. Mongolia’s President often gives a special speech on this day as well.
There are also concerts and other special events on this day. Because this holiday is also a men’s day, many men will get to enjoy some of their favorite foods. This may include deep-fried meat pies known as Huushuur, or Boodog—the meat of a goat or marmot. Men will also enjoy Chanasan makh—salted, boiled meat, and stir-fried noodles known as Tsuivan.