On 11 February between 4 and 6 AM, Shagaa, the Lunar New Year, will come to Tuva. On the proposal of Buddhists of Tuva, the Supreme Khural of the republic unanimously declared this day to be a holiday.
A day off for welcoming the Buddhist new Year is stipulated in the Constitution of Tuva as a day off.
However, this is a floating date, and every year the Buddhist organization of Tuva has to go to the parliament for approval of the date as calculated. This year, according to astronomical calculations, Shagaa falls on 11 February, when the Year of Black Snake begins, as the head of Association of Buddhists of Tuva, Buyan Bashky informed Tuva-Online, and offered some explanations.
Every year is determined by three qualities. 2013 will be the Year of the Snake, Year of Water, and Year of five yellow Menge. The snake showed up sixth of twelve when the Buddha called the animals. The qualities of the snake are vigilance, attention and caution. Those who do not adhere to these principles can expect problems in the Year of the Snake. On the eve of the Lunar New Year, purification has to be performed: outward - clean up the yard and the house, bodily - go to the baths, and internally - ask forgiveness for your transgressions, feel remorse and forgive others. A lot of tasty food has to be prepared.
Three buyan-kezhik are needed for welcoming the New Year: clean tidy home, beautiful clothing, and good, joyful state of mind.
Tuvan Buddhists traditionally spend the night before welcoming Shagaa in prayer, addressing the Dalai-Lama XIV and all the Buddhas. Night services will be organized both in the temples and in large public squares, as Buyan-Bashky informed us.